Could you help shape the future of South Tyneside?

South Tyneside Council

Chief Executive

South Tyneside Council job vacancy

This is an exciting time for an ambitious and visionary leader to join us and really make their mark.

Up to £166,000
25th February 2021
Closing date


The Council has undergone significant change over the last year, with new political leadership and a significant shift in how the Council operates.

The Chief Executive will be responsible for shaping and directing the delivery of the Council’s Futures programme, which includes significant economic and regeneration projects, further integration of local health and social care services and South Tyneside’s successful economic, social and environmental recovery post Covid-19 and EU Exit.

South Tyneside MBC certainly punches above its weight when it comes to ambition - and the Council is looking for an inclusive, dynamic and experienced senior leader to lead the Council through its next phase of delivery for its 155,000 residents. The size and geography of the Council will enable the new Chief Executive to make immediate and significant impact, and he/she will lead a high performing organisation which is driving forward a range of exciting initiatives, with an experienced and motivated team.

About the role

Municipal Journal Editorial

Looking to lead a Council where you can make a real impact?

It’s an exciting time to join South Tyneside MBC as Chief Executive. The Council has undergone substantial change over the last year, with new political leadership and a significant shift in how the Council operates. Councillor Tracey Dixon became Leader of the Council in November 2020 and she is looking for a dynamic and experienced senior leader to join her in leading the Council through its next phase of delivery for its 155,000 residents.

This is an opportune time for an ambitious and visionary leader to join South Tyneside and really make their mark. The Council has just passed the half-way milestone of its ambitious 20-year Futures programme. A decade in, the Council is efficient and lean, having delivered significant change, with high performing services across key service areas. The Council, in partnership with Sunderland City Council, is delivering the nationally significant ‘International Advanced Manufacturing Park’, and has been recognised for its innovative approach to integrated working across health and social care, leading-edge green energy projects and Ofsted rated ‘good’ Children’s Services.

2020 has brought unprecedented challenge and the local government operating environment has changed significantly. The incoming Chief Executive will work in partnership with the newly appointed Leader, all Elected Members and the senior officer team, to further plan and articulate what the next ten years will look like, post Covid-19 and EU Exit.

Councillor Tracey Dixon said: ‘Since the Covid-19 pandemic we have adapted to new ways of working and we’ve had to re-prioritise. We are looking for a Chief Executive with long-term vision but equally someone who can move at pace, and get things done under challenging conditions. We want someone with a collaborative style, who is able to bring all stakeholders together under one united vision for South Tyneside’.

The Council is financially stable, having undergone significant modernisation over the last decade. Established and robust financial management arrangements will enable the incoming Chief Executive to focus on the Council’s corporate and external affairs priorities – including the Council’s vision, governance, relationships and capacity to deliver.

Events of 2020 have made us adapt to new ways of working and we must continue to innovate and re-think local services. In South Tyneside, health and social inequalities among our residents continues to be a real challenge. We must prioritise work which makes our communities and businesses more resilient, both individually and collectively. Our Economic Recovery Plan sets out the short and long-term actions we must take to safeguard our local economy from further economic shocks. The new Chief Executive will help us respond to the challenges of Covid-19 and ensure successful economic, social and environmental recovery.

The digital and climate change agendas are also pressing. The Council’s bold ambitions to regenerate South Tyneside have not been lessened by the pandemic; we are working to re-frame our thinking and adapt to the changing circumstances. The Health and Social Care integration agenda is picking up pace nationally and must be applied locally in a way that works for the residents of South Tyneside.

The Chief Executive of South Tyneside MBC will be responsible for delivering these priorities and leading an experienced and capable team of senior officers, who are adept at working corporately across the Council’s key service areas. To succeed in role, he/she will need to further empower and develop the team; motivating and providing clear leadership at a very challenging time.

South Tyneside certainly punches above its weight when it comes to ambition. The size and geography of the Council will enable the new Chief Executive to make immediate and significant impact, and he/ she will lead a Council which is driving forward a range of exciting regeneration and infrastructure projects. The Council also has regional leadership responsibilities with regards the North East Combined Authority and the regional Economic Development and Digital agenda, Newcastle International Airport and the Tyne and Wear Pension Fund. The new Chief Executive will be pivotal in ensuring South Tyneside’s interests are well represented on a regional and national stage.

As a place, South Tyneside has a lot to offer. With award winning beaches and outdoor spaces, world-class schools, high quality affordable housing and modern public facilities, South Tyneside is a great place to live, particularly for families. South Tyneside is also near to Newcastle International Airport, home to the Port of Tyne and, with good road networks, it is also a great place to do business. There is a rich heritage in South Tyneside and a deep sense of passion and pride for the local area among residents. The new Chief Executive will ensure the Council builds further upon these strengths to continue making South Tyneside an outstanding place to live, work and bring up families.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Tracey Dixon said: ‘We want to hear from candidates who have great interpersonal skills, an inclusive and confident leadership style and a positive, can-do mindset. I’m looking forward to meeting candidates who are passionate about public service and are excited by the prospect of working with us in South Tyneside to make a real difference for our residents’.

Job description


  • To lead the Council’s paid service in providing exceptional services to deliver the overarching vision of making South Tyneside an outstanding place to live, invest and bring up families.
  • To work in partnership with the Leader of the Council to establish and communicate the Council’s vision and priorities.
  • To take overall responsibility for the sustainability and effective deployment of the Council’s resources.
  • To represent the Council’s interests on a local, regional and national stage.

Key responsibilities

  • To work in partnership with the Leader of the Council to agree and communicate the vision and high-level priorities for the Council.
  • To act as principal advisor to the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet and Elected Members, providing timely advice on key strategic and policy matters, and statutory requirements, to enable the Council to make informed decisions.
  • To promote effective relationships between Elected Members and Officers and ensure the skills of both are harnessed into a collaborative way of working to ensure the best outcomes for the residents of South Tyneside.
  • To ensure Elected Members are actively engaged in shaping the priorities and services of the Council.
  • To lead the Council’s Corporate Leadership Team - further promoting the existing corporate ways of working across the organisation, setting direction, establishing priorities, building capacity, maintaining focus, and delivering value for money and continuous improvement.
  • To undertake the functions of the Head of Paid Service in accordance with Section 4 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989:
    • overall corporate management and operational responsibility (including overall management responsibility for all staff);
    • reporting to the Council on the way in which the discharge of the Council’s functions is coordinated, the number and grade of officers required for the discharge of functions and the organisation of officers;
    • the provision of professional advice to all parties in the decision-making process;
    • together with the Monitoring Officer, responsibility for a system of record keeping for all the local authority's decisions;
    • representing the local authority on partnership and external bodies (as required by statute or the local authority).
  • To hold overall responsibility for the Council’s resources and assets, ensuring they are effectively managed and deployed, ensuring value for money and sustainability.
  • To oversee the overall delivery and direction of Council’s services, ensuring the Council fulfils its statutory duties and key priorities agreed with Elected Members.
  • To think and plan ahead so that the Council’s policies, procedures and programmes are appropriate, fit for purpose and sustainable.
  • To lead by example and ensure a culture of openness, high performance, high standards and excellence which reflects the Council’s Vision and Values.
  • Monitor, at a strategic level, the overall health of the organisation and its corporate effectiveness through the process of setting targets, performance standards and regular corporate assurance reviews.
  • To further establish a culture of trust, fairness and integrity across all areas of the Council.
  • To ensure arrangements are in place for effective Governance, decision-making and scrutiny, as it set out in law and in the Council’s Constitution.
  • To represent and negotiate on behalf of the Council with various external stakeholders, including local and regional partners and national Government and bodies.
  • To develop and strengthen effective relationships with the Council’s strategic partners.
  • To ensure all key stakeholders are considered in major decision-making and a collaborative approach is adopted where appropriate.
  • To protect and manage the image and reputation of the Council and positively promote the Council and South Tyneside on a local, regional and national stage.
  • Through personal example, act as a proactive advocate and ambassador for the Council, within the local community, region, nationally and with key stakeholders.
  • To act as the Electoral Registration Officer and the Returning Officer at various Elections.

Further details

The Council has undergone significant change since the launch of its 20-year Futures programme in 2010. The Council’s Corporate Leadership Team includes highly experienced Directors and Heads of Service and the Extended Leadership Team includes a wider team of experienced, proactive and capable Heads of Service and Corporate Leads, who have broad responsibilities and autonomy, requiring minimal oversight on day-to-day operational issues.

The Chief Executive will be responsible for providing overall strategic direction to the Corporate Leadership Team and will have specific direct line management responsibility for the following:

  • Corporate Director Business and Resources
  • Corporate Director Children, Adults & Health
  • Corporate Director Regeneration and Environment
  • Director of Public Health

Person specification

Key skills

  • Extensive experience in the strategic management of a local authority or large, multi-functional organisation of comparable complexity, scope, responsibilities and resources.
  • A successful track record of leading organisational and cultural change and the ability to influence a large workforce and various stakeholders.
  • A track record of establishing and sustaining a positive and high-performance culture that continually drives up standards.
  • A proven track record of working effectively within a political environment, providing clear advice and guidance on strategic issues. Ability to establish and sustain positive relationships in challenging circumstances.
  • Experience and a comprehensive understanding of local government and the key issues facing it.
  • The experience, acumen and awareness to operate successfully in a political environment.
  • Proven experience of building and leading a top team to deliver a shared vision and exceptional services.
  • A successful track record of working effectively in partnership with a wide range of local, regional and national stakeholders.
  • Ability to analyse complex issues, to think and act strategically and to develop practical and creative solutions to the management of corporate and strategic issues.
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent.

Key personal attributes

  • Utmost standards re: professionalism and integrity.
  • Strong credibility which commands confidence and trust. Leads by example.
  • Strategic thinker able to manage complex issues.
  • Acts and thinks corporately with a collaborative style that empowers others.
  • Commitment to the highest possible standards.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills able to relate effectively to a range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to further establish and maintain the Council’s reputation and credibility both regionally and nationally.
  • Highly motivated, consistent, straightforward and open, not easily discouraged.

Supporting documents

The vacancy

The Council

How to apply

For a confidential discussion speak to our consultants at Penna, Nick Raper on 07715 690463 or Julie Towers on 07764 791736