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Head of Commercial Finance & Investment

Sutton Council
Sutton, London (Greater)
£67,167 - £80,626 (£84,657 unconsolidated maximum)
Closing date
27 Jun 2021

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Job Details

In Sutton, there is much for us to be proud of both as a council and as a borough. This includes high levels of resident satisfaction, the quality of our services, our success in addressing our financial challenges to date, the way that we involve and engage with residents on key issues facing the borough, and the enthusiastic and motivated staff that we employ. 

Looking ahead, there are plans for the delivery of new homes and new schools and the London Cancer Hub is being developed, while the Council is also seen as a driving force within the South London Partnership of five outer south west London boroughs focused on strategic growth, regeneration and investment.

All of this demonstrates a good track record and an authority that is ambitious and set to deliver more improvements for the borough. We've set out our vision for the future of Sutton in our corporate plan - Ambitious for Sutton. This strategic plan will shape the outcomes we achieve, the services we provide, and the impact we have on residents, to make Sutton a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Situated in Zone 5, Sutton is less than 30 minutes by train from central London, and south and south west London are easily accessible by public transport. There are 10 train stations which serve key neighbourhoods within the borough providing direct connections to London Victoria, London Bridge, London Blackfriars and St Pancras International. Sutton also has direct rail connections with Epsom, Dorking, Guildford and Horsham, as well as Wimbledon for an interchange with the London Underground and West Croydon for the London Overground. There’s also an extensive road network which provides close and easy access to the M25 and M23.

About the Role  

This role leads on delivery of effective commercial finance advice across both Kingston and Sutton Councils.

In this role you can expect to:

  • Lead the development of the capital programme including funding and financing for both Councils, and contributing to year end asset accounting

  • Deliver strategic advice and guidance to commercial and regeneration programmes such as Sutton’s London Cancer Hub or Kingston’s Cambridge Road Estate regeneration

  • Manage the provision of effective business partner support for the HRA and Housing schemes

  • Manage the treasury management function for both Councils

  • Be part of the Senior Management team for the Shared Finance Service leading the team to achieve our ambition to Add Value, Inspire Success, and acting as Deputy S151 Officer for Kingston or Sutton on occasion  

About Us  

This is a really exciting opportunity to join the Kingston and Sutton shared finance service in a role that is pivotal to the delivery of major projects in both the London Borough of Sutton and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. 

The Shared Finance Service provides a wide range of financial services to the London Borough of Sutton and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and was shortlisted for a 2020 Public Finance Award for Alternative Service Delivery Model of the Year. This was in recognition of our success since our launch in 2017, and our ambitious plans for the future.

As Head of Commercial Finance and Investments you will be part of the senior leadership team of this forward thinking and innovative local authority shared finance function. You will be a key member of project teams delivering critical projects that are transforming the local areas and improving community facilities - there's the London Cancer Hub being developed in Sutton as a world class centre for cancer innovation, and the regeneration of Kingston's largest Council Estate to provide new high quality greener homes as part of a joint venture partnership, to name but two of the current projects. 

Funding arrangements for these projects is also critical and you will have responsibility for both Council’s treasury management functions, including the recent publicly issued bond in Sutton and raising funds to support the delivery of phase 1 of the Cambridge Road Estate regeneration project in Kingston.

Alongside supporting commercial projects across both Councils you will be responsible for developing the capital strategy and the HRA business plan. For Kingston you will work closely with the Housing service to develop the HRA business plan, taking account of the delivery of new homes planned across the borough and in Sutton, you will support the strategic relationship with Sutton Housing Partnership, the Council’s arms length management organisation. 

Both Councils own a number of companies and commercial delivery vehicles. In this role you will help shape the Council’s relationship with those companies and deliver cost effective financial services and administration to some under a ‘buy-back’ arrangement. You will also be required to support the Councils in their governance and scrutiny of Council owned companies, ensuring effective use of public money to achieve excellent outcomes for residents.

About You  

You will be an effective leader and communicator, skilled at analysing and evaluating commercial finance models and providing evidence based advice and recommendations to a wide range of stakeholders. You will have a passion for delivering effective public services and will be keen to understand and meet the needs and priorities of both Sutton and Kingston. You will ideally have significant experience of working in a similar public sector authority at a senior level, or will be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of Local Authority financial management and reporting requirements. You will also be a qualified accountant.

Throughout this work you will be working closely with senior officers and elected Members across both Councils. You will therefore need to be capable of using your experience and knowledge of dealing with capital or commercial projects, and of making investment decisions, to be able to communicate with stakeholders who are not from a financial or commercial background. Experience with complex financial models and options appraisals will also help you to succeed. 

Key to this role is the ability to work closely with partners across a wide range of disciplines, bringing together different stakeholder priorities and enabling solutions to be developed. You will need to act on behalf of the S151 officer to ensure financial and strategic risks are managed appropriately, being pro-active and solution focussed in your approach.  You will lead by example to develop the Councils commercial acumen and work collaboratively with others in the senior leadership tier of finance and the wider leadership of both Councils, including with elected Members.

Knowledge and experience of working with HRA budgets would be preferable as well as experience of making investment and borrowing decisions as part of the day to day management of cashflow for an organisation. A good understanding of financial risk management and strategy development will help you get to grips quickly with the tasks ahead.

Our Offer To You  

As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential and will offer you a supportive, friendly and collaborative environment to grow and develop your career and skills. We’re constantly striving to improve our ways of working so putting your ideas across - however big or small - will be fully encouraged and supported by your colleagues and our dynamic and experienced management team.

In addition, we offer a modern and flexible working environment for our staff, supported by our IT infrastructure, including Google Chromebooks and Google Apps.

Employees have access to a wide range of benefits, some of which include:

  • Generous annual leave entitlement plus bank holidays (pro-rata if part-time working hours apply)
  • Flexi-time (Please note, this applies to roles at grades 1-9 only)
  • Comprehensive learning and development programme
  • Local and national discounts for shopping, eating out and leisure activities
  • Interest free season ticket loans
  • Local Government Pension Scheme
  • Car parking scheme
  • Bicycle loan facilities and cycle to work scheme
  • Zip car scheme
  • Free eye tests and contribution towards glasses
  • Confidential wellbeing and counselling support
  • Subsidised gym membership

Application Process  

Please apply online outlining what skills, abilities and experience you can bring which makes you an ideal candidate for this role. Please ensure you refer to the requirements outlined in the job profile when completing your application.

To support our diversity agenda and reduce the risk of bias in our recruitment activities, our short listing process completely anonymises personal information that can identify job applicants e.g. name, title etc. Our hiring managers review and short list applications based on the information provided as part of your application as to how well you meet the requirements and criteria for the role, as outlined in the job profile.

The closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you complete and submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Additional Information  

We pride ourselves on being a diverse, inclusive and welcoming Borough and we aim to create a workforce which reflects the community we serve. We are respectful of difference and realise the positive value of diversity in our workforce. We welcome and encourage job applications from people of all backgrounds and particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates and disabled candidates, as these groups are currently under-represented in our workforce. As part of our Disability Confident Committed status, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum/essential criteria for the role.

We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, and inclusive staff networks who help drive our diversity agenda.

The UK has introduced a new points-based immigration system affecting EU and Non-EU workers and sponsorship requirements. We advise checking the GOV.UK website for right to work guidance.

COVID-19 Information  

Please note that these dates are only indicative at this stage and could be subject to change. Due to the ongoing situation, interviews for short listed candidates will take place virtually through video technology for the foreseeable future.

The majority of staff will also continue to work from home, where possible, in line with Government Guidance.

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