Westmorland and Furness Council - Director Resources (S151 Officer) and Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer

Westmorland and Furness Council banner image

This is a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity, to shape and lead a brand-new council. Westmorland and Furness Council will be an ambitious authority that will shape public services for the better, building on the best and transforming them for the future.

Following our successful Chief Executive appointment, we are now looking to recruit talented, innovative, and inspirational professionals to the posts of Director Resources (S151 Officer) and Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer. 

The successful candidates, working closely with members, will be at the forefront of leading and creating Westmorland and Furness Council - a brand new organisation that has been created following the biggest change to local government in Cumbria since 1974.

About Westmorland and Furness Council 

Last year the Government made the decision to create two brand new councils for Cumbria - Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council. Westmorland and Furness Council will comprise of the area covered by Barrow-in-Furness, Eden and South Lakeland districts.

Key to this decision was the business case that committed us to:

  • Put our customers and communities first, to be at the very heart of everything we do.
  • Delivering better outcomes for our customers and communities, enhancing their life opportunities.
  • Deliver excellent services and undertake transformation and change that will ensure services are better and more cost-effective in the future.
  • Create organisations that are flexible and agile and enable us to respond to change and be more adaptable to our customer needs in the future.
  • Create opportunities for our staff.
  • Work in partnership to deliver better outcomes for all.
  • Create more financially balanced and sustainable Council.

The role of the new council is to create the conditions for Cumbria's diverse people and places to thrive. Delivering lasting transformation that improves lives, and in that we have a proven and proud track record of achievement.

We will only be able to do this through the support of an effective management structure.

We now have a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity, to shape public services for the better - building on the best and transforming services for the future.

We want to:

  • Look positively to the future and build on the best.
  • Feel confident about the future.
  • Embrace and understand that this change presents real opportunities.


Salary: Competitive

Contract: Permanent

Director Resources (Section 151 Officer) Job Description (PDF 136KB)

Cumbria has such a lot to offer. We're proud of our heritage, but we're excited about our future. It's a really exciting time, as we're now creating two brand-new unitary councils and we are looking for the key people to help to develop and grow a brand new local authority. By joining us at this critical time you'll be pivotal in shaping the future of the service and the entire organisation

We are looking for an experienced and inspirational candidate to join us as Director Resources (S151 Officer); someone who can bring energy and commitment to the role, and who is dedicated to delivering quality services that will make a real difference to people's lives. 

You will be an inspiring and collaborative leader, with a track record in building relationships, leading on transformational change, and delivering service improvements and better outcomes. We are looking for someone who will support the Chief Executive with delivering the desired culture and vision of the organisation, embedding this throughout the wider teams. 

In this key role, you will be the Council's statutory Section 151 Officer, providing leadership to the organisation and across the Leadership Team, as well as working closely with Elected members, the Chief Executive, and Monitoring Officer. You will also be the Council's principal financial advisor and will lead on the pension administration provision for the organisation and will ensure that public money is always safeguarded and used appropriately, economically, efficiently, and effectively. 

The successful candidate will have outstanding communication skills and be able to lead from the front, focusing on delivering excellent services and putting our customers at the heart of everything we do. We are looking for someone with the right qualities and experience to undertake transformation and change that will ensure services are better and more cost-effective in the future

It will take a very experienced individual to join our leadership team and help us deliver against our ambitions, as such we are seeking candidates with experience of working in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders. They will be expected to bring commitment, positive energy, and a clear vision. Taking a key leadership role in a flexible, enabling, and innovative organisation, allowing us to create new opportunities for workforce, retain our talent, and ensure that their wellbeing and development is a priority over the coming months and years. 

This is a fantastic opportunity for the right person, so if you are talented, motivated, and committed to improving our amazing area, then we would like to hear from you.

Salary: Competitive

Contract: Permanent

Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer Job Description (PDF 113KB) 

Cumbria has such a lot to offer. We're proud of our heritage, but we're excited about our future. It's a really exciting time, as we're now creating two brand-new unitary councils and we are looking for the key people to help to develop and grow a brand new local authority. By joining us at this critical time you'll be pivotal in shaping the future of the service and the entire organisation

We are looking for an inspirational and committed candidate to fill the positions of Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer. As a key member of our new leadership team, you fulfil the statutory role of Monitoring Officer, as well as provide effective leadership and collaboration with the wider organisation to drive the council's key objectives, priorities, and vision.  

You will be an engaging and creative leader, with a track record in delivering excellent services that provide better outcomes for our communities and responding to change and adapting to customer needs in the future. The successful applicant will lead a broad range of functions that includes working with and advising the Council, Cabinet, and Members of the Council on all aspects of the service. You will support the Chief Executive with delivering the desired culture and vision of the organisation, embedding this throughout the wider teams.

An outstanding communicator, with a positive attitude and clear vision, you will strive for real change and improvement, undertaking transformation and change that will ensure services are better and more cost-effective in the future. We are looking for someone with the right qualities, experience, and energy to drive forward positive change for the area, making a real difference to people's lives. 

It will take a very experienced individual to join our leadership team and help us deliver against our ambitions, as such we are seeking candidates with experience of working in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders. Taking a key leadership role in a flexible, enabling, and innovative organisation, allowing us to create new opportunities for workforce, retain our talent, and ensure that their wellbeing and development is a priority over the coming months and years. 

This is a fantastic opportunity for the right person, so if you are talented, motivated, and committed to improving our amazing area, then we would like to hear from you.

For an informal discussion about either of these roles, please contact Chief Executive Designate Sam Plum on 07929 788 282

Director Resources (S151 Officer) - For a confidential discussion about this exciting role, please contact our consultants at Penna: Nick Raper on 07715 690 463 or Rob Naylor on 07922 417 550

Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer - For a confidential discussion about this exciting role, please contact our consultants at Penna: Nick Raper on 07715 690 463 or Priyesh Bhadressa on 07548 108 176

  • Closing date: 5pm on Thursday 1 September 2022
  • Shortlisting: week commencing 5 September 2022
  • Technical interviews: week commencing 5 September 2022
  • Final interviews: 15 or 16 September 2022 

Cumbria is a Centre of Nuclear Excellence: a world leader in nuclear waste and decommissioning, decarbonising heat, power, and transport, and driving clean growth as we head towards Net Zero by 2050. Through the Barrow shipyard we are also at the core of the UK's defence industries and nuclear deterrent.

Cumbria has significant assets for renewable energy including a large coastline and wide-open spaces which can support the UK's clean energy agenda and net zero ambitions, for instance through Offshore Wind Leasing.

Cumbria is home to a wealth of natural assets including the Lake District world heritage site, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, parts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Cumbria Coast Marine Conservation Zone.

These cultural landscapes and their biodiversity supports tourism which brings over 47 million people and £3.1bn to the local and national economy every year.

Cumbria makes a significant contribution to national rural economy with the commitment to innovate and the use of new technologies to support food self-sufficiency and wider national agricultural policy.

Cumbria has good connections and a high quality of life so is well placed to benefit and grow from changes to working practices resulting from COVID-19.

Population: 225,400 persons; a decrease of 0.4% over the last decade. 15.6% of the population are aged 0-15 years (lower than the national average of 19.2%), while 26.3% of the population are aged over 65 years (higher than the national average of 18.5%).

By 2028 the population of Westmorland and Furness is projected to increase (+1.1% vs. England +5%) and become older; with numbers of 0-15 and 16-64 year olds projected to decrease by 5.5% and 3.5% respectively (England -1.6% and +2.7%), while numbers of people aged 65+ are set to increase by 15.5% (England +19.6%).

There are 114,000 jobs at workplaces in Westmorland and Furness.

The public administration, education and health sector accounts for the greatest proportion (24%), followed by wholesale and retail (18%), manufacturing (15%) and accommodation & food services (14%). The median annual household income in Westmorland and Furness is estimated to be £34,638; lower than the national average ( £37,436). The unemployment rate is below the national average (2.3% vs. 4.0%). 33.9% of residents in Westmorland and Furness are estimated to be qualified to level 4 or higher, below the national average (43.5%); this is in part due to the sector and occupational profile of employment in the area.

20% of residents in Westmorland and Furness report their day-to-day activities are limited because of an illness or disability, higher than the national average (18%). Public Health England (PHE) report that Westmorland and Furness has worse rates than the national average in relation to emergency hospital admissions for heart attack, hospital stays for self-harm and deaths from stroke. However, Westmorland and Furness performs better than the national average in relation to: hospital admissions for all causes; emergency hospital admissions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; incidence of cancer; deaths from all causes; deaths from cancer; deaths from circulatory disease in under 75s; deaths from respiratory diseases; and deaths from causes considered preventable in under 75s.

15% of children in Westmorland and Furness live in relative low-income families. While this is lower than the national average (18.7%), there are some wards where levels of child poverty are much higher than the national average; the proportion of children in relative low-income families is more than one and a half times the national average in the wards of Ravenstonedale, Central, Hindpool, Barrow Island and Warcop. 12 communities (LSOAs) in Westmorland and Furness fall within the 10% most deprived of areas in England; these communities are all located within Barrow-in-Furness. It is generally in these deprived areas that unemployment and crime rates are higher, while household incomes and educational attainment are lower and health outcomes can be poor. Inversely, Westmorland and Furness has six LSOAs that are classified as being in the 10% least deprived of LSOAs nationally; these LSOAs are all located in South Lakeland.

Map plotting deprivation across Cumbria