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WORK LIFE - YOUR NEXT MOVE?

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Kathryn Godfrey looks into the vacancy for a new head of finance at Buckinghamshire CC ...
Kathryn Godfrey looks into the vacancy for a new head of finance at Buckinghamshire CC

Buckinghamshire CC is looking for a head of finance to lead the finance team to a position where it plays a strategic and consultancy role, reducing the time spent on administration.

The council is putting in SAP, an integrated human resources, finance and procurement system. The finance part of the system should go live from July and will, says Ian Trenholm, strategic manager for resources, require a 'fundamental shift in thinking' from staff.

The new system will allow managers to take on more responsibility for their own budgets. And Mr Trenholm says: 'The head of finance will have a role to play in promoting the new system and ensuring it is used properly.

'Part of the job will be to look at how finance functions and to come up with a new operating model which is likely to be consultancy-led.' The current finance team is 180 strong but this will be reduced as the role of the department changes and develops.

The council puts an emphasis on collaboration. Mr Trenholm explains: 'We were a traditional council operating in silos. But that created problems and we needed to change behaviour.

'We now make sure heads of service work together on projects. The senior management structure is designed towards whole council working.'

New challenges are on the horizon. The government's development plan for the area will see Aylesbury double in size in the next 20 years, with new residents likely to arrive before the increase in population is reflected in funding.

For this post, which includes s151 officer responsibilities, the council is looking for a 'robust and resilient individual who can get things done'.

Mr Trenholm says: 'We need someone with a strategic vision who can think creatively. Someone who is a team player but who is also prepared to step forward to champion and lead change.'

There are 20 heads of service at the council. This post, with a salary of up to£81,000, is one of th e more senior heads.

The way the post relates to senior management is different from many other councils. The head of finance is seen as the lead professional adviser in finance and has a reporting relationship to the strategic manager for resources, leader of the council and chief officer.

Buckinghamshire CC is a predominantly rural council which encompasses the towns of Amersham, High Wycombe and Aylesbury. Oxford is a 20-minute drive from Aylesbury, and there are good train links to London. Housing is relatively expensive but generally cheaper northwards.

Facts and figures

Population 479,026

Males 234,739

Females 244,287

Aged 0 to 15 23.5%

Aged 16 to 74 69.8%

Aged 75 and over 6.7%

Born in the UK 90.1%

Born in EU (inc Rep Ireland) 2.7%

Born elsewhere 7.2%

Work

Percentage of people aged 16-74 . . .

Employed56.2%

Self-employed11.2%

Unemployed 2.0%

Student 6.2%

Retired 12.5%

Looking after home/family 7.1%

Permanently sick/disabled 2.3%

Other2.5%

Health

People with limiting long-term illness 12.8%

People whose health is good74.9%

People whose health is fairly good19.3%

People whose health is not good5.8%

Ethnic groups

White British87.6%

White non-British4.5%

Mixed race1.3%

Asian or Asian British 4.6%

Black or black British 1.3%

Other ethnic group0.7%

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