Surrey seeks digital leader to help drive £250m annual savings

Newly created role comes with brief to ‘transform service delivery’ of county council

Surrey County Council has created an executive post for a digital leader to transform the delivery of services while helping the authority cut £250m from its yearly budget.

The council has recently rejigged its senior-management structure, which has resulted in the creation of two new posts: executive director of economy, growth and commercial; and executive director of customer, digital and transformation.

The latter comes with a remit to spearhead a service-transformation agenda that will have a big impact on the authority’s bottom line.

“This role will lead the council’s transformation agenda to deliver innovative solutions to the challenges facing local government and improved services for residents,” the council said. “It will lead the council’s technology and digital strategy, working with experts in the field, including businesses and universities, to ensure the council is at the forefront of digital service design.”

The authority added: “Accountable for delivering significant savings, it will transform service delivery to improve the lives of the people of Surrey.”

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Surrey claims to have trimmed more than £450m from its annual budget since 2010, but is now looking to find another £250m of cost savings.

“Clearly, this will involve some difficult decisions and commitment to new ways of working, which is where innovation comes in,” the authority said. “We have already started down this road, with innovative partnerships on health, transport, waste disposal, and business functions. But we need to move to the next level.”

The successful applicant will be responsible for leading the council’s Orbis shared services and procurement partnership with East Sussex and Brighton and Hove councils. The digital and transformation leader will also be expected to head up citizen-engagement initiatives using social media and other online channels.

Overseeing the use of business intelligence and performance-management technologies will also come under the remit of the transformation chief.

The executive director will report into Surrey’s chief executive Joanna Killian. The role comes with the responsibility of line-managing the council’s chief digital officer, and its directors of strategic intelligence, customer experience, and transformation, as well as various business services directors.

Applications for both the executive director posts are open until 18 May. The roles’ compensation levels are yet to be announced.

Close to 1.2 million people live in Surrey, and the county’s economy makes an £11.2bn net annual contribution to the UK Exchequer, the council claimed.


Sam Trendall

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