Director of Legal and Governance

£99,260 to £105,100

(Role now appointed to)

Bradford – the place

An ambitious legal expert with a seat on the top team and a desire to be pro-active in both the local authority and the local community is sought by the City of Bradford MDC.  

There is a big agenda for the successful candidate. Bradford is the fifth largest metropolitan local authority district in England in terms of population with 530,000 people. Nearly one third of the population is aged under 20, making Bradford the youngest city in the UK and more than 150 languages are spoken within the district. The local economy is worth £11.6bn and is the tenth largest city economy in England and the third largest in the Yorkshire and Humber region. 

The city is undergoing major regeneration as part of the council’s economic development strategy. There are plans for a clean air zone and a children’s trust, all of which will require considerable legal expertise. Reflecting the city’s diversity, the council also won The MJ’s Innovation in Building Diversity category as part of The MJ’s 2021 awards.  

The council’s chief executive Kersten England says: ‘The scale of the place and its opportunities and challenges are phenomenal. It’s a place where you can make your mark, is never dull and always satisfying. Often people don’t get the scale of Bradford and we have huge ambition for the place. Our finances are stable and we’ve good reserves. We’re aiming to launch one of the largest clean air zones in the country which will also require a lot of legal work. We’ve also submitted a bid for City of Culture.’ 

The Role 

The Director of Legal and Governance will be part of the senior management team and expected to be involved in the success of the whole organisation, taking a corporate perspective. At the same time the council’s key priorities, regeneration, net zero, a new children’s trust, will all generate a challenging agenda for its legal team. 

The council is planning to set up an arm’s length Bradford Children’s Company from April 2023 with an independent chair and board of directors and the new Director of Legal and Governance will provide the necessary legal expertise, working with legal teams from partner bodies involved in the new trust.  

The new Director will lead and manage democratic, legal, mortuary and registrar’s services, providing a comprehensive legal and governance framework, advice and support as well as be a key part of the leadership team. Ensuring a good working relationship with elected members is also a priority for the new Director. 

The new Director will be the Council’s Monitoring Officer, and so will be suitably qualified. They’ll bring a depth of successful legal experience from Local Government, will have excellent political antennae and will be used to exercising excellent professional judgement, under pressure, in the spotlight and in challenging circumstances.  They’ll also bring a highly corporate perspective, with the capacity to lead on issues beyond legal services, to build excellent relationships and help shape civic culture.  Importantly, they’ll help guide the way through the myriad difficult issues faced by a large, high profile District like Bradford, finding solutions where possible and, where necessary, drawing the line.  They’ll be respected, will connect with our communities and our aspirations, and will bring a hunger for improvement, excellent service and high ambitions.  The right person will find a welcome home in Bradford, with the buzz and energy of a District that’s looking to the future. 

The Director will be responsible for a service with a headcount of 139 and FTE of 124.

Bradford Council positively encourages applications from candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Job Profile

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Milestone Date
Application deadline Monday 28th March
Longlisting (technical) interview 19, 20, 21 April
Final Panel – Interview and assessments 26 May
Please note that the timetable may change. Any changes will be indicated on this recruitment website. If in doubt, please contact Proventure to discuss.

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