Head of IT

Kingston Council
Kingston, Sutton
Full Time
£71,850 - £79,446
Per annum
30 days

10/03/2024, 23:55

Round 1: Week Commencing 18th March 2024 | Round 2: Stakeholder Panel Interview: TBC

Joining us, you get to work for not just one high performing London Borough, but two.

Kingston and Sutton councils have a number of shared services serving both authorities, with some teams and roles more focussed on one council than the other, but the majority are shared across both, meaning you get multiple opportunities to learn from a wider pool of activities and two different political bodies. 

We work flexibly in both Kingston and Sutton offices, and support working at home or flexible working patterns that enable you to tailor your working and personal life. We provide the equipment and tools to enable you to work flexibly, and in return ask you to use that flexibility to be creative and ambitious in the services we deliver.

There are some really exciting things happening in both boroughs. In Sutton, we are developing the London Cancer Hub, a world leading cancer research and treatment hub that will bring together professionals from across different sectors to identify and test new treatments and therapies. Over in Kingston, we are undertaking the largest housing regeneration programme ever delivered in the borough, building new energy efficient housing that will transform some of our oldest Council owned housing. Both boroughs have publicly committed to doing what they can to tackle the climate emergency and are investing in new technologies and societal change that will help bring carbon emissions down and improve our climate impact.

You should choose Kingston and Sutton if you are looking for an opportunity that will challenge you to deliver more, support you to achieve personal ambitions, and expect you to put borough residents at the heart of what you do.

Kingston is a beautiful Royal borough with a historic setting on the banks of the Thames with excellent schools and a bustling retail centre, all surrounded by open green spaces such as Richmond Park and Bushey Park, former recreation grounds for Tudor Kings and Queens. The Council is controlled by a Liberal Democrat Administration and has a council plan “Greener, Fairer, Safer, Together”, that sets out a vision to be a vibrant, diverse and inclusive borough where residents are active, empowered, engaged and able to remain independent and resilient. The Council engages with residents through a number of forums and events through the year, and like Sutton plays a leading role in developing the South West Region of London.

Sutton is a well connected attractive part of London that has a reputation for excellent schools, green and leafy open spaces, and a history that drives a thriving heritage and culture offer through our museums and libraries. The Council is controlled by a long established Liberal Democrat Administration and has high ambitions set out in its corporate plan “Ambitious for Sutton”, that will ensure Sutton remains a great place to live, work and raise a family. The Council plays a leading role in a number of local partnerships and places great emphasis on engaging effectively with its residents, listening to local voices and making their message heard across London Government.

The Head of IT is responsible for the design, delivery, operation and support of our IT services, Infrastructure and systems across the shared Digital & IT Service.

As our Head of IT, you will: 

  • Ensure that the IT department provides high-quality, efficient, and effective services to the Councils and their residents.
  • Lead and manage the IT teams.
  • Develop and implement the IT strategy.
  • Cyber security and governance.
  • Manage the IT budget.

This is a varied and exciting role, you will be leading on a transformation programme which involves migrating to cloud computing, transforming the network, wifi and the telephony. You will be involved in driving service improvement plans with key areas, mobile working and cyber security!

The Head of IT has 4-5 direct reports; Head of Digital Support (IT Help Desk and Support Services), Head of Business Applications, Head of Cloud and Platform and Programme Manager for the Infrastructure Programme. The wider Digital & IT team consists of 40-50 staff members.

Digital and IT is a shared service between Kingston and Sutton Councils providing digital and technology services to both Councils as well as a number of arm's length companies, including Achieving for Children and Sutton Housing Partnership.

There are three Corporate Heads of Service roles in the Digital and IT department. Along with the department’s Assistant Director, they form the senior leadership team for the shared Digital and IT Service. These roles each have line management, budgetary and functional accountability aligned with the department’s specific services and goals.

We are committed to delivering excellent public services to our residents and local businesses, which is why we place the user, and their needs, at the heart of our agile delivery strategy. We are proud of our digital culture, and have a team of excellent professionals working across multi-disciplinary teams to deliver for the Council.

In the IT space we are using technology to enable transformation across the Councils. We have a broad range of digital projects underway and this role will work closely with those digital teams to ensure our technology can support our digital ambitions. For example, developing our cloud platforms to enable us to better use our data and develop capabilities in AI.

We're looking for a candidate with experience running an IT Service, ideally within the public sector! We're recruiting a candidate who has worked closely with and enabled digital teams to deliver at pace. If you have experience of running cloud environments and know how to transition teams to this way of working, we'd love to hear from you!

We're looking for a Head of IT who has:

  • Exceptional leadership skills, modelling a strong performance culture and constructively building achievement, confidence and skills in others.
  • Excellent people management and team-building skills, with the ability to inspire and motivate a diverse team of IT professionals, including mentoring and coaching.
  • Strong technical knowledge and experience. Key areas include cloud computing, cyber security and networking.
  • Experience in DevOps and working with digital and development teams.
  • A detailed understanding of how to set and deliver Digital and IT strategies and plans.
  • Experience managing stakeholders at a senior level.
  • Experience working at a strategic and tactical level to ensure that deliverables meet the business needs of the organisation.
  • Demonstrable commercial experience with programmes and portfolios, budgeting and resource management.
  • A strong understanding and experience in effective IT governance and compliance including Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).

We'd love to hear from you if you: 

  • Are open minded and curious about what technology can offer to our Councils.
  • Can demonstrate solid management techniques to ensure that the IT services are well managed with strong governance, including cyber security.
  • Have experience in taking an idea from inception through to delivery at scale.
  • Have great stakeholder management skills and are able to empathise with others and see different points of view. 
  • Have high standards in quality of service and how IT is meeting user needs.
  • Are energetic and optimistic about how IT can help combined with resilience in a dynamic and complex organisation.

Please review the job description for full information.

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, Google Chromebooks and Google Apps, which have acted as a key enabler for collaborative and streamlined working. The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to be even more flexible in how we work and manage staff workloads, ensuring they have the correct equipment and resources to be able to maximise their talents and looking after their wellbeing.

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)
  • Three volunteering days per year
  • Flexible and agile working arrangements
  • Comprehensive learning and development programme
  • Discounts on a range of local shops, restaurants, gyms and leisure centres
  • Interest free season ticket loans
  • Local Government Pension 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

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.

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. 

We are committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) so all personal information that can identify job applicants e.g. name, title etc is completely anonymised during the shortlisting process. Our hiring managers review applications based on the knowledge, skills and experience demonstrated in your application, and how well these match the job profile. Our HR Shared Service with Sutton Council was recently recognised nationally for having the ‘Best Inclusion and Diversity Programme’ at the PPMA Excellence in People Management Awards 2023, something that we’re incredibly proud of.

Hiring managers are encouraged to ensure that their interview panel is diverse, and representative of a range of protected characteristics, to help remove unconscious bias and ensure candidates are treated fairly during the selection process. Some characteristics may not be obvious, but our panels are diverse wherever possible. We have a number of measures in place to inform and support our approach, including mandatory EDI and unconscious bias training for all staff, safer recruitment training for diverse panel members, engaging with our staff networks and encouraging allyship. We are fully committed to removing barriers and enhancing the diversity of our workforce.

We are proud to be a diverse and welcoming Borough. Our aim is to create a workforce which reflects the community we serve, and staff feel a sense of belonging. We celebrate and respect differences and appreciate the value of having a diverse workforce. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds, particularly Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, and disabled candidates, as these groups are currently under-represented in our workforce.

As a Disability Confident employer, we are committed to thinking differently about disability and taking action to improve how we recruit, retain and develop disabled people. We guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum essential criteria for a 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.

We are an accredited London Living Wage Employer and this means that everyone working at the Royal Borough of Kingston, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers receive the London Living Wage. The real Living Wage is higher than the government’s minimum, or National Living Wage, and is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living.

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.

Good Business Charter

This opportunity is closed to applications.