London boroughs seek £150k digital chief to help shape ‘future of half a million people’

Local authorities in the boroughs of Richmond and Wandsworth – which have operated a shared staffing agreement for eight years – are recruiting a new CDIO to lead digital strategy and implementation

Two neighbouring London boroughs are seeking to appoint a new joint chief digital and information officer to help drive “innovation and transformation in public services” for more than 500,000 citizens.

Wandsworth and Richmond, in the south west of the capital, have operated a shared staffing arrangement since 2016, including a joint chief executive and leadership team, supported by a workforce of about 3,000 people.

The two boroughs are offering an annual salary of £150,000 in a bid to recruit a new CDIO to join the team.

The position offers an opportunity to help inform and shape “the future of half a million people”, according to the job advert. The post has been newly created, alongside another role as head of organisational development and internal communications. The new leadership briefs “will be critical to our newly created Change and Innovation Directorate and will provide you with the opportunity to lead, shape and implement large-scale change programmes that integrate systems, data and customers through the best single asset we have – our workforce”, the advert added.

The digital chief will oversee the creation and implementation of a digital strategy that intends to support the delivery of “user-centred services”.

The successful candidate will also set at the head of the two councils’ technology, security, and data operations, with a remit of “ensuring that we have the infrastructure, governance, systems, and processes that support our operations and innovation”.

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“You will be a key advisor and champion for a digital and user-focused mindset across the organisation, influencing senior leaders, officers and councillors on the benefits and opportunities of digital transformation,” the advert said. “You will also build and manage a diverse and high-performing team of digital, data and technology professionals, as well as a network of external partners and suppliers.”

Richmond and Wandsworth are seeking applications from candidates with a “proven track record of leading and delivering digital transformation in a large, complex, and multi-disciplinary environment where one size doesn’t fit all”. Applicants will “also need to have a strong understanding of the current and emerging digital technologies, platforms, and solutions, as well as relevant risk management, standards, and a best practice approach to your leadership”.

Applications for the position are open until 4 February.

Despite being next-door neighbours, Wandsworth and Richmond acknowledge that the two respective authorities “serve two very different demographics, each with its own set of challenges, but both vibrant in culture, diverse in needs and abundant in opportunity”.

With just under 200,000 residents, suburban Richmond is one of London’s smaller boroughs by population – despite being almost twice the size of its partner in the shared service arrangement. Wandsworth, meanwhile, is home to about 330,000 citizens and is officially classed as an inner London borough.

Data from non-profit campaign group the Trust for London indicates that Richmond has by far the lowest poverty rate of any borough – with 11%. This is less a third of the 34% figure for Wandsworth.

Sam Trendall

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