Dear Prospective Candidate,
Thank you for your interest in the role of Chief Executive of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council.
Epsom sits to the North of the County of Surrey and has borders with Reigate & Banstead and Mole Valley Borough Councils, as well as the London Boroughs of Kingston and Sutton. As the smallest and most densely populated Borough within Surrey we punch above our weight in performance and we are widely regarded for being a purposeful Council with a clear vision, strategy and priorities.
We are now looking for a new inspirational Chief Executive who will lead the council and our communities through the very real challenges ahead. Although the council is in a relatively strong position, our residents are not immune from the cost-of-living crisis and many face issues of housing choice and affordability, poor health, areas of poverty and domestic crime.
So, there is a lot for a new Chief Executive to do. We therefore expect to attract someone who has strong personal drive and a great track record of tangible delivery. You will have an inclusive leadership style and are someone who understands the need to support Members, but also has the desire to work externally with key partners on shared priorities.
With around 80,000 residents we are best known for being the home of ‘the Derby’, and with a large equestrian and business community as well as Laine Theatre Arts and The University of Creative Arts residing in the borough, we are home to a diverse and changing population. We also boast our Green Flag parks, good schools as well as excellent connectivity to Central London and two major airports.
As a Council we are extremely proud of history and heritage and we are driving progress and innovation across the region, as well as with our County, District and Borough colleagues. We never stand still and if ever there was a time to maintain motion, this is it, and we want our next Chief Executive to be part of our plans to deliver pace and modernisation, which is built on our track record of strong performance.
Being Residents’ Association led since 1938 means we are close to our resident and community engagement sits at the heart of everything we do. As a potential candidate, it is important you recognise that this history and heritage shapes who we are and our aspirations.
We are very mindful of the challenges which face us:
- Our Local Plan is out of date and we are determined to adopt a replacement as soon as possible.
- 42% of the Borough is Green Belt, our house prices are much higher than the national average and the Borough has limited areas that lend themselves to redevelopment for housing without sacrificing our Green Belt.
- We have a strong desire to retain our market town heritage, whilst still meeting house building targets and ensuring the Council can deliver the right level of affordable housing to meet need.
- We rank 71st for Sustainable Growth in the Grant Thornton Resilience Indicator and there is downward trend of performance, so whilst the Borough is performing economically, we need to tackle the inequality that exists.
- Surrey County Council are actively looking at securing a County Deal and are seeking to submit their bid late 2022/early 2023.
As the incoming Chief Executive, these are just some of the challenges that you will need to work with members to meet as well as support them through the inevitable journey of change.
To our pride and benefit we have had strong financial performance and management which gave us some resilience going into the pandemic. Nonetheless this has caused a short-term financial shortfall and there are robust plans in place to close this funding gap which return us to pre-pandemic level spending without a reliance on our reserves.
As a Council’s we have a number of key strategies and documents, including our Future 40 Vision, 4 Year Plan 2020-24 as well as the Annual Plan 2023/23, all of which set out our short, medium and long term priorities.
This is an exciting time to join Epsom and Ewell Borough Council as we build on our heritage and continue to be a place which is prosperous, green and thriving for the residents of today, tomorrow and the future.
I hope that you decide to read more about us and that, if you believe that your experience is a good fit, this inspires you to make an application.
Councillor Hannah Dalton