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South Gloucestershireis looking for a head of legal and democratic services, says Adrian O'Dowd

South Gloucestershire Council is seeking a head of legal and democratic services who will be in the thick of the action at a booming authority.

The position promises to be a high-ranking role in a well- performing council.

The job's main responsibilities are to act as the council's primary legal adviser and monitoring officer, to provide high-quality legal advice to senior officers and councillors, and to manage the legal and democratic services division.

The division is made up of legal services, democratic services, member services, electoral services, and land charges.

Whoever takes on this role will report directly to David Perry, director of corporate resources, and be in charge of about 100 people.

Mr Perry says: "We are looking for somebody who is robust but pragmatic and has an ability to get on with staff, motivate, and who can work effectively in a political environment.

"We'd like someone who has ambition to introduce improvement and drive, and an ability to work in a team as well as being self-motivated."

The successful candidate has to be a qualified solicitor or barrister to take on the role, but Mr Perry adds: "I'd be looking for substantial senior management experience in a council or within a large complex organisation.

"They must be politically sensitive and be able to work with members."

People will be drawn to the job for many reasons, he believes. He says: "South Gloucestershireis a great authority and a good area to live. We are on the outskirts of a major city (Bristol) and in an area of natural beauty. It's an excellent quality of life here.

"The job means working closely with senior officers and councillors. The post holder will have daily contact with directors, executive members and the chief executive. They will be in the thick of it."

There is significant housing growth predicted for the area around 20,000 homes over the next 20 years and there are some legal issues in relation to the planning of those that the new person will be dealing with.

South Gloucestershirehas its next comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) in May, which it will be working towards.

It has a three-star CPA score and is 'improving well'.

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