Job description

Head of Corporate Services

Line manager’s job title

Deputy Chief Executive – Transformation and Operations


Spot Grade - £100,281

Duration of role

2 years, with potential to extend

Hours per week

37 hours per week or as required



The designated office base is 135 Milton Park, Oxfordshire. However, the role can be delivered on an agreed pattern of hybrid working

Employing council

South Oxfordshire

Probationary period

Six months

Notice period

Three months

DBS check required


Date job description updated

February 2022



About the role and what we’re looking for


Job purpose:


·         to ensure that the strategic objectives of each Council are met and that all residents receive services which provide service improvement and value for money through the delivery of direct and commissioned services


·         to provide effective leadership and development for the service areas within your scope, ensuring the necessary changes to culture and practice to take forward the joint working arrangements of the Councils


·         to support the deputy chief executive – transformation and operations and chief executive in providing advice and analysis to both Councils on the service areas within your scope, to facilitate informed decision making by ensuring that officers and members are appraised of issues and receive relevant, best practice professional advice


·         to assist the deputy chief executive – transformation and operations and chief executive in the strategic management of the service areas within your scope


Main duties and responsibilities:


Corporate management


To assist the deputy chief executive – transformation and operations and chief executive in providing strong and effective corporate management of both Councils through:


·         working closely with all members of the strategic management team to help create and embed the necessary changes in culture and practice to meet the needs of both Councils


·         to interact with portfolio members and provide regular reports and briefings to Cabinet/Executive and lead opposition members.


·         contribute to the achievement of both Councils’ overall objectives by aligning the service to its vision and priorities, working with colleagues across both Councils to effectively and efficiently deliver joined-up programmes, projects, policies and initiatives where possible, optimising the effective and efficient use and deployment of resources


·         to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all elected members


·         to build effective working relationships with internal and external partners, stakeholders and communities of interest in order to develop and improve services


·         to promote a positive image of both councils externally and represent the councils in discussions with partner organisations and stakeholders


Service management


To ensure sound and robust management of the service through:


·         the development, delivery and monitoring of an annual service and business plan which aligns with both Councils’ corporate strategies, objectives and priorities. Plans to be delivered within timeframes agreed by the senior management team and members, sufficient to inform the councils budgetary processes


·         leading, motivating and developing the teams within your scope, both individually and collectively, ensuring that the employees of each Council are aware of the aims and objectives of both Councils, the standards of behaviour and performance expected of them and any specific requirements of each council


·         leading and managing the services within your scope, delivering excellence across the service through the development of high performing teams, effective delegation, communication, cross-authority working, prioritising customer service and satisfaction across all areas


·         leadership and innovation in the development of new approaches to service delivery to ensure continuous improvement in performance, value for money, and quality of services for customers


·         ensuring performance management is embedded into the day to day work of the services within your scope. Performance reviews to be undertaken by the due dates, and recorded as required by the review processes. Also, ensure all service plan and workplan monitoring is undertaken by the due dates and entered onto any performance management system(s)



·         identifying training and development needs in discussion with service managers for all staff in the services within your scope; and to encourage participation in any training and development activities. This to include coaching, mentoring and evaluation of all training undertaken 


·         to plan, monitor and manage the service’s budget to achieve financial and performance targets and work with the corporate management team to ensure budgets are aligned to both Councils’ corporate strategies, objectives and priorities in an appropriate manner


·         to build and lead successful joint working arrangements and partnerships with and between Councils, internal and external service providers, other Councils and central government to deliver high quality and cost effective, customer-focused services


·         to maintain an awareness and understanding of new legislation and/or best practice, relevant to the services within your scope, interpreting the resulting implications and developing appropriate policies, procedures and practice to ensure that both Councils comply with their statutory obligations as well as secure performance improvement and increased customer satisfaction


·         to ensure both Councils policies and procedures, particularly health and safety, equal opportunities, customer care, emergencies, security, work standards are embedded throughout the services within your scope


·         to represent both Councils equally and without bias to all outside bodies, clearly reflecting and differences in the views or polices of each Council


·         to seek to avoid any conflicts in connection with the policies and activities of each Council, which may be different, and to discuss any that do arise with the chief executive at the earliest time possible.


·         to undertake all such duties and responsibilities determined by the chief executive that is commensurate with the nature of the post


Specific job responsibilities


·         to be personally responsible for the day-to-day operation of all services undertaken by the service areas with your scope and their contractors


·         to support the deputy chief executive – transformation and operations and chief executive in providing corporate and strategic advice on the services within your scope, including the provision of advice to councillors, the senior management team and service teams


·         to ensure all necessary professional and technical skills required across the diverse range of the services within your scope are satisfactorily sourced e.g. negotiation skills, influencing skills, ability to utilise IT, knowledge of the policy and regulatory frameworks affecting local government and its partners.


About you




·         relevant professional qualification or equivalent demonstrable vocational experience and evidence of continuing professional development


·         an in-depth knowledge and management experience of at least one of the significant services specified in the job description in a demanding, complex and politically sensitive environment


·         a good understanding of a wide range of policy and operational issues, as well as experience of achieving significant service outcomes, in at least one of the significant services specified in the job description


·         proven success in leading a large multi-disciplined team through major change, managing the integration of functions into a customer-focused service that significantly contributes to the achievement of corporate priorities


·         a successful track record of operating in a complex political context and winning the respect, trust and confidence of Councillors, staff, residents and partners


·         a strong track record of achievement in developing, managing and implementing service strategies that underpin the delivery of progressively higher standards of service and cost reductions within challenging organisational circumstances


·         experience of planning, monitoring and managing service budgets


·         evidence of having used diversity (in its broadest sense), in a very practical way, to increase levels of organisational performance


·         demonstrates a commitment to self and staff development


Key competences and behaviours


·         a corporate leader and excellent manager who is energetic, determined and positive to develop the joint working arrangements of the Councils


·         the ability to provide professional advice confidently and tactfully, expressing a viewpoint and providing policy direction


·         the ability to handle competing priorities and a challenging workload in a complex political environment


·         highly developed communication, networking and ambassadorial skills


·         strong personal commitment to the delivery of first-class services


·         an inclusive team player who can foster partnerships, work collaboratively across boundaries and achieve performance and results through others


·         the ability to motivate staff at all levels to perform at the highest level possible


About us


Our vision and values are important to the councils and we expect you to support them and embed them in the way we work.


Our vision

We are seen as being customer-focussed, approachable and business-like. We are honest and open and are renowned for providing high quality cost effective services.


Our values

·    We act with integrity and show respect

·    We are all accountable

·    We are passionate about our business                       

·             We strive for simplicity

·    We love success


The benefits we offer

·         33 days annual leave per annum.  You also have all the bank holidays to look forward to and time off between Christmas and New Year.


·         Salary pay awards – most jobs give scope for a pay increase after six months or the following April (depending on your start date) and we also review salaries each April


·         Flexible working – a flexible approach to work that our employees love!


·         A generous career average pension scheme which includes life insurance of three times your salary


·         The opportunity to purchase a bike through Cyclescheme (cheaper than directly through a store) so that you can cycle to work!


·         A salary sacrifice car lease scheme – a fully inclusive driving package for a fixed monthly cost


·         Various schemes to keep you healthy (reduced gym membership, free swims, free eye tests for DSE users and more)


·         We give you two days per year to volunteer within the local community.