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WORK LIFE - TOMORROW'S PEOPLE

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Simon Kaye, housing strategy manager, Denbighshire ...
Simon Kaye, housing strategy manager, Denbighshire

DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT JOB?

I've just been appointed housing strategy manager with Denbighshire CC.

I have responsibility for the development of our five-year housing strategy. A vote is

due to take place later this year on whether our council housing will be transferred to a new community landlord. A key element of my role is to advise on how housing services within the authority could be structured after a transfer.

WHAT WOULD A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE?

Impossible to say at present, because it has been a whirlwind of meetings and consultations with key stakeholders and partners. Having said that, the only constant I really need is tea and coffee on tap.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

It has always been about variety and the wide and diverse mix of people that I've met and worked with. That could be through the commissioning of new services in conjunction with local communities, or empowering and developing the staff teams.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND

Having completed a degree in social policy at Plymouth University, I stayed in the area as a volunteer at a local community centre. It was there I developed an interest in housing and other social issues. Then I took a postgraduate housing course at the London School of Economics - which I'm constantly reminded was part-funded by my then girlfriend, now my wife. Since then, I've worked for a variety of housing organisations in London and north-west England.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT?

The challenge. When I joined Denbighshire as principal rents officer, the Audit Commission had just awarded the rents department the dubious honour of being the worst council service in England and Wales, with a

'zero stars, will not improve' rating. Last year, it was awarded two stars with excellent prospects for improvement. This is the highest rating given for any rents service inspection in England and Wales.

HOBBIES/INTERESTS?

With two young children under the age of three, my hobbies and interests have become a thing of the past. I particularly miss travelling, which is

hopefully something we'll be able to do again in the future - as a family.

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