Torbay Council advertises £150,000 chief executive job

Torquay Town Hall in Castle Circus, headquarters of Torbay Council

Torquay Town Hall in Castle Circus, headquarters of Torbay Council - Credit: Ed Oldfield

Torbay Council is recruiting a new chief executive with an annual salary of up to £150,000.

The job has come up after the previous post-holder Steve Parrock moved full-time to the lead role at TDA – the council-owned economic development and business services company.

Torbay is one of the smallest top-tier councils in the country providing the full range of local authority services.

It has appointed consultants to help in the search for Mr Parrock’s successor to lead a workforce of around 1,000, with annual spending of around £115million on services including social care, transport, culture, housing, parks, beaches and waste.

A statement says the council is looking for someone who is 'inspiring, collaborative and forward thinking' and 'adaptable with a clear customer orientated focus and who always act with integrity'.

The area covering the towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham is facing economic challenges with pay below the national average, above average unemployment, and the highest level of deprivation in the region with an ageing population and estimated one in four children living in poverty.

But Torbay is also seeing economic investment, including £100million on four new hotels in Torquay and Paignton from the Fragrance Group, and Government funding for regeneration packages of £22million in a Town Deal for Torquay, and £13million from the Future High Streets Fund for Paignton.

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In a statement, the council said: “We want Torbay, its residents and its businesses to thrive. We are looking for an inspiring, collaborative and forward thinking chief executive to drive our work programme.

“We have ambitious plans for our future – from regenerating our town centres and being the premier tourist resort in the UK, to turning the tide on poverty ensuring that our young people have high aspirations.

“We have a track record of working innovatively with our partners. You’ll take the lead as we showcase ourselves on the regional and national stage while at the same time enabling our communities to act for themselves.

“You will lead the team of members and officers who all want to make a difference to Torbay.  You will be multi-skilled and willing to get involved.  We are a small, agile unitary authority meaning we can effectively make the changes that we need.

“As a place to live, Torbay offers great access to the sea alongside the benefits of urban living.  As our chief executive, you will deliver our vision of a thriving Torbay so our whole community can benefit from the opportunities we are creating.”

The council has been run since the summer by Anne-Marie Bond, the head of corporate services who took over as interim chief executive in August when Mr Parrock moved to his new full-time job at TDA.

She has led the council’s response to the pandemic and has started to redesign services, in line with policies to focus on tackling deprivation and increasing community involvement introduced by the partnership of Liberal Democrats and Independents which took control of the council in 2019.

A council spokesperson said: “We are one of the largest employers in Torbay. We are committed to making a difference in our community and delivering high quality, value for money services to local people.

"To achieve this we only recruit the best – people who are forward-thinking and adaptable with a clear customer orientated focus and who always act with integrity.

“In return, you will receive excellent employment terms and conditions and the opportunity to work for an organisation that recognises and values the contributions of its employees.

“At Torbay, we are very proud to have a workforce that is committed and hard-working.”

Council leader Steve Darling said: “We want Torbay and its residents and businesses to thrive.

"We want Torbay to be a place where we all have high aspirations, where there are quality jobs, good pay and affordable housing.  

"We want Torbay to be the premier resort in the UK, with a vibrant arts and cultural offer for all to enjoy; where our built and natural environment is celebrated and where we play our part in addressing the climate emergency.

“We are making significant steps towards our ambition but there are still challenges ahead and our new chief executive will need a skill set to meet them. 

“As Leader of the council, I am determined to turn the tide on poverty in Torbay.  We need to work together to create more opportunities which inspire our young people and to ensure they have the skills that they need to excel in our emerging hi-tech industries.

“We also need to deliver our transformation programme which has at its heart a renewed focus on our priorities, our customers and our communities, with a determination to put people and outcomes ahead of organisational boundaries and bureaucracy.

“At the same time, the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic provides us with the opportunity to radically rethink services and improve outcomes. We need to respond urgently and safely by transforming our services, our focus and our working practices.  

"Our community responded magnificently and we need to build on this to make sure we enable and empower them to act.

“We have a vision of Torbay as a place of ambition, drive and opportunity, the tide is turning in Torbay and we are proud to be leading this. We fundamentally want to do things differently, working with individuals, communities and partners. We look forward to you joining us in creating One Torbay: Working for all Torbay.”