Dear Candidate

If you’re reading this, we’ve succeeded in wetting your appetite sufficiently to want to find out if Cherwell District Council is the next smart step in your future career.

First impressions count considerably so we hope the first impression you have of Cherwell fills you with curiosity, possibility and excitement.

Cherwell District Council, serves over 150,503 residents across 227 square miles of beautiful Oxfordshire landscape - mostly soft rolling hills, with the northwest of the district lying at the northern extremity of the Cotswolds.

This paints a picture of rural serenity, but we have some complex urban communities with high levels of deprivation that are often hidden from the wider world.

Managing this dichotomy to deliver better outcomes for our communities takes a bold and ambitious approach-something we our very proud of. This, along with our strong leadership credentials and track record in successfully executing strategic programmes and initiatives, means Cherwell punches well above its weight in delivering on a local and national stage. 

Our achievements in the 18 months since becoming a standalone authority for the first time in a decade demonstrate that we are at the leading edge of delivery and we deliver at pace. Cherwell is no longer the dark horse in the local government race and we need someone with the blend of experience, track record and gravitas to drive forward the momentum we have built in putting Cherwell firmly on the map as one as the top destinations to live, work and do business. And importantly take members and officers on this journey.

We have four overarching objectives that arefocussed on delivering visible and tangible benefits to our communities:

Housing that meets your needs – delivering affordable housing, raising standards in rented housing, supporting our most vulnerable residents, and promoting innovative housing schemes.

Leading on environmental sustainabilityaiming to be carbon neutral by 2030, increase recycling, promoting the Green Economy, protecting our natural and environment and built heritage, improving air quality, and reducing environmental crime.

An enterprising economy with strong and vibrant local centressupporting local businesses, securing infrastructure to support growth, investing in our town centres, and promoting the district as a visitor economy.

Healthy, resilient, and engaged communitiesproviding opportunities to support active lifestyles, improving the quality of sport and leisure facilities, creating more inclusion for health and wellbeing, supporting community and cultural development, tackling causes of health inequality and deprivation, and working with partners to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

Qualities we are looking for ?

“The chief needs to be able to see things coming and subtly or overtly plan ahead. Elected members rely on the chief’s judgement, but that confidence is hard won.’

‘The other attribute is an ability to deliver. It’s no good having lots of strategies and plans if you don’t deliver on them. They have got to be able to turn them into full-scale projects that have an impact.’

Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of the Council

“Unlocking Cherwell’s potential, needs collaborative, forward-thinking approaches: councillors and officers ready to work together to put local residents and businesses first.

The new Chief Executive should bring a creative, dynamic focus to the challenges we face against our financial and political backdrops, demonstrating inspirational leadership to help members shape the district’s future. I look forward to working with you to address the tasks ahead.”

Councillor David Hingley, Leader of the Progressive Oxfordshire Opposition Group

As an opposition leader, the single most important function of the chief executive, to me, is setting the culture.

A successful organisation should not see challenge and scrutiny as threats but as opportunities. 

Embedding those values of openness and transparency with a commitment to continuous improvement is therefore not only desirable, but essential for the next chief executive."

Councillor Sean Woodcock, Leader of the Labour Group

The new CEO should be someone who is a Leader, a team player, respectful, ambitious, approachable, a good listener and tells it as it is.”

Councillor Leslie Sibley, Leader of the Independent Group

If this sounds like the next challenge you are looking for, then we look forward to discussing the opportunity with you further."