Head of Libraries and Heritage

Job Description

About Us

West Sussex is a large county experiencing demographic changes which will shape the future delivery of services across our communities. We are committed to working with and alongside our partners to improve outcomes for our residents, recognising the financial pressures on the public sector and the requirements to re-shape in response to Covid-19 aligned to the ambitions of our corporate plan.

For more information, please visit our website.

About The Job

Salary: £65,460 - £69,964
Working Pattern: Full-time (37 hours per week)
Location: Chichester
Interview Dates: 10 - 11th February 2021 (Microsoft Teams)

We are looking for an exceptional individual to join the Communities Directorate at WSCC as Head of Libraries and Heritage. This pivotal role will be instrumental in maintaining our service response during the current Covid-19 pandemic and shaping our community recovery. Staff within our Libraries and Heritage Services have been at the forefront of creativity, innovation and our partnership response in these unprecedented times, adapting to new ways of working, launching new service offers and supporting residents impacted by Covid-19. Our new Head of Libraries and Heritage Services will have the skills, experience, enthusiasm and commitment to inspire our staff, work collaboratively, foster innovation, engage with our partners and continue to deliver an outstanding customer service offer to residents across the County.

During a period of significant and fundamental change, we need strong, experienced, collaborative and cohesive leadership across our Libraries and Heritage Service, with a key focus on enhancing partnership working. With a well-established customer base attracting over 7 million physical and virtual visits we continually seek to improve and develop our customer offer, meeting residents' high expectations, contributing to the national sector development and consolidating our value to communities. We are seeking a creative and innovative leader who can build on success, driving the service forward as we look towards what is bound to be a challenging future.

Experience and Skills

You will need to be professionally self-sufficient, operating at the highest level of proficiency in the service specialism, leading and managing the shape of the Service, with an awareness of the 'bigger picture' including creating policies and approaches which have a positive impact. You will be managing the overall achievement of a Service comprising either a number of teams with generally related activities and similar purposes, or a substantial county wide support service to meet corporate and business objectives and provide efficient customer focused services. You will also be able to demonstrate the following skills and experience.

Key Skills:

  1. Ability to work independently, making sound pragmatic problem solving decisions, which will have a wider service impact, including devising solutions to specific problems of a programme, prioritisation, resource or performance related nature using significant professional judgement and evaluative skills to make effective decisions where 'right' and 'wrong' answers are not available.
  2. Exceptional, highly developed communication skills to influence and persuade the actions of others in order to construct, evaluate and deliver effective business solutions.
  3. Effective research and planning skills to construct highly effective complex business critical solutions working on a time horizon of a number of years. Ability to forward plan, continuously developing and reviewing the effectiveness of service, whilst still delivering the current service.
  4. Ability to recognise where change is needed and to challenge existing practices, processes and activities and identify and deliver effective solutions which promote change. Ability to use own judgement to identify, define and analyse alternative courses of action, thinking creatively to deliver innovative solutions to complex issues.
  5. Strong partnership working skills with the ability to develop and manage highly effective relationships and co-ordinate a range of partners and stakeholders both internally and externally to successfully deliver objectives.

Qualifications and/or experience:

  • Post-graduate professional qualification relevant either to management or to the professional service specialism; or equivalent level of significant experience demonstrating comprehensive application of the above levels of knowledge in a relevant setting. Fellowship membership of a relevant professional body or equivalent high-level experience of involved practices.
  • Self-sufficient expertise across the technical/professional specialism at the highest level of proficiency, with a comprehensive knowledge of complex practices and precedents built on concepts and principles.
  • Practical and theoretical knowledge of the political environment of local government and partner organisations.
  • Comprehensive operational and strategic experience appropriate to the business and the organisation.
  • Experience of delivering an exceptional service to others through the management of a service.

Rewards and Benefits

In addition to generous annual leave as an employer we recognise that it is our employees that are central to everything we do. We aim to create a supportive and dynamic working environment where employees can achieve their full potential, achieve a healthy work-life balance and are rewarded for the work they do.

For a full list of the benefits offered to you as a West Sussex County Council employee you can find them on our Rewards and Benefits page.

Further Information

The reference number for this role is EIE00772.