Mark Charters, Director of social and community services, Bexley LBC
What is your new job?
Director of social and community services.
Describe your main responsibilities
My main responsibilities involve the strategic management and leadership of social and community services and to focus them on improving community health and wellbeing. My key objective for the coming year is to integrate the services and to focus all we do on the customer. That means driving efficiency while improving the outcome for our customers.
What attracted you to the role?
I wanted to move from ‘the sticks’ to be in London working within a unitary council which offers close working ties with key partners and key services. When these are brought together they make a big difference to community health and wellbeing. The fact that Bexley offers this approach and philosophy was a huge attraction for me.
Why do you think you got the job?
It could have been my natural charm, charisma and striking good looks! If not that, it was probably my vision for the services, combined with over 20 years of local authority social care experience, the last four of which were spent as director of community services for Northamptonshire CC.
What would your department mascot be?
A meercat because they are alert, community orientated and look out for each other.
What is the best piece of career advice you have been given?
To enjoy work and home in equal measure and not to take life too seriously.
What or who keeps you awake at night?
Absolutely nothing and nobody I sleep very soundly once my head hits the pillow.
What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?
I would like to think that they would say energetic, relentless and reliable.
What maxim do you use to see you through tough times?
Everything that has a start also has an end.
Who would you invite to a fancy dinner party?
The 1987 All Blacks team, Nelson Mandela, the author Wilbur Smith oh, and of course my wife and son should be there too!
What have you learnt recently that would be useful to others?
I shall be really profound at this point and say that God or the Devil is always in the detail and it is our job to find them.