Thank you for considering a career with Solihull Council. As Chief Executive, I am proud to lead such a passionate organisation that really cares about their fellow colleagues and the residents of Solihull. One of my greatest pleasures is getting to work with fantastic people across the Council as we all strive to deliver great services for our residents – all 220,000 of them.
As you’ve shown an interest in a management position with us, we have put together this website so you are aware of our core values and priorities that are held by everyone that works for us. Our vision for Solihull is that it remains a place where everyone has an equal chance to be healthier, happier, safer and prosperous and the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) should embody this vision in every way.
We are passionate about shaping and creating great places to live, work and visit. With inspiring colleagues, active councillors, and the support of a lead Cabinet member to promote our agendas, we are all proud of the Borough and endeavour to reach high standards and expectations.
Have a read through this website and if you think you can help us to move forward, then please apply and tell us what you have to offer.
Head of Procurement
Thank you for your initial interest in this role.
Serious candidates will not need to be told that effective procurement is key to both the delivery of Council services and its corporate priorities.
What potential candidates may not be so tuned into is the scale of our ambition here in Solihull and consequently the professional opportunities that this brings for the right individual.
For example, working with the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Council’s UK Central programme is a key driver of the wider region’s growth agenda. This includes major land and property developments that will deliver large scale infrastructure providing international connectivity, commercial and residential development that will result in significant new job creation and business investment.
Working with other partner local authorities, our Cabinet will shortly be requested to approve a business case for the development of a sub-regional Material Recycling Facility which will process our and neighbouring authority recycling materials for the next 20 years.
We have recently brought our main leisure contract back in-house. This included ‘buying-out’ the debt that financed the construction of leisure facilities, producing significant savings for the council tax payer.
And we are in the process of replacing or upgrading our main ICT systems.
We are driving the growth agenda and continually improving our models of service delivery.
All of this requires expert procurement advice and a procurement specialist who can embed social value into our contracts as well as cost and quality.
We have a Procurement Board in place, which is made up of our Corporate Leadership Team. Through this Board, we will scrutinise your work and expect you to do it well but at the same time, we will make sure that the work of you and your team has the profile and support at the highest level of our organisation.
You will be a key member of the Resources Directorate Leadership Team, so in addition to providing evidence of your procurement expertise, you will need to convince us that you possess excellent leadership and influencing skills together with the ability to work collaboratively with internal and external partners.
We are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead. We hope you will be someone who shares that enthusiasm.
Solihull is a place of contrasts. It is repeatedly rated as one of the best places to live in the UK and we celebrate this accolade and take advantage of all the benefits it brings. However, the headline masks some challenges, none more so than the inequality gap between the north and south of the borough.
We know that Solihull is well placed economically, that people aspire to live and work here, and that this leads to the perception that some of the social challenges are less and easier to tackle than in other parts of our region and country. Whilst this is true in part, it is also the legacy of strong leadership, ambitious foresight/planning and Silhillian endeavour over 30 or more years.
This collection of qualities and characteristics continue to define and distinguish the place and people of Solihull today and will carry us forward to make it an even better and more equal place.
Here is a snapshot of what makes the borough a great place to live, learn, work and play, the challenges it faces and the opportunity that this contrast presents us.
Great things about Solihull
Attractive environment - Two thirds of the borough (11,500 hectares) is Green Belt which is why we have the motto 'Urbs in Rure' – town in country.
Existing regionally and nationally significant economic assets and transport infrastructure - Solihull is most productive economy in the West Midlands in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) per head of population and per workforce job. In fact, GVA per workforce job has increased by 6% since 2011. These economic assets support over 100,000 jobs. Solihull is home to Birmingham Airport, the NEC, Jaguar Land Rover and major businesses in Solihull Town Centre and high-quality business parks.
Aspirational housing - with values consistently above the regional average.
Excellent schools and education opportunities - 90% of Solihull education providers are deemed good or outstanding and school attainment at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 is above the national average.
The fastest growing labour market outside of London - Private sector employment grew by 26% (+19,800) between 2010 and 2015.
Good Social Cohesion - 83% of respondents to the Solihull Place Survey 2018 agree that people from different backgrounds get on well together in their local area.
Challenges facing the borough
A prosperity gap - While much of the borough is relatively affluent, 16 out of 134 neighbourhoods are in the most deprived 10% in the country. Impacts are felt across a broad range of outcomes including educational attainment, employment, crime and health.
Creating Growth for All - Inclusive economic growth means ensuring that good opportunities are available to all of our residents, in particular, that people are able to access new employment opportunities and housing.
Amongst the challenges we face is how to adapt our local transport system to cope with current and forecast demand, and how to increase the proportion of people who commute by public transport, walking or cycling. Maximising public transport connectivity is essential in linking major employment sites to residential areas.
In future many new jobs will require higher level skills. We are well placed to meet this skills requirement, however, some residents will require support to access these opportunities. Employment rates for those with lower skills, ill health (particularly for those with a mental health issue), carers and lone parents are much lower than the rest of the population.
A Changing Population - Over recent years, the Solihull population has increased at a much slower rate than nationally but our community is becoming increasingly diverse with a far larger proportion from an ethnic minority background than 10 years ago (14% in 2011 compared to 5% in 2001).
The most significant population change has been the rapid increase in the number of older residents. The 75 and over population in Solihull is expected to grow by around 700 per year over the medium term. By 2027 there are expected to be over 28,200 people of this age living in the borough.
The number of people aged 65 and over with dementia is projected to rise by 39% between 2017-2030, with similar increases for those living with long-term health conditions and the number needing help with self care and mobility tasks. There are also wider community implications of this population growth, particularly as the number of people of this age group living alone is expected to rise by 39% by 2030. Providing a range of appropriate housing options will be critical, as will community support to prevent loneliness in older people.
Our vision is for Solihull to be a place "Where everyone has an equal chance to be healthier, happier, safer and prosperous through growth that creates opportunities for all".
To address the challenges and opportunities facing us as a Council, five new priorities – or major steps that we need to take – have been identified.
Our Top 5 priorities are:
- Securing inclusive economic growth
- Planning and delivering for Solihull's low carbon future
- Managing demand and expectation for public services
- Developing and delivering our approach to services for adults and children with complex needs
- Making the best use of our people and physical assets
Read more on our vision and priorities in our Solihull Council Plan 2018-2020.
The Council’s five priorities will be delivered through eleven key programmes which each in turn consist of a number of projects and activities (see pages 27-28 in the Council Plan).
Although each of these programmes is aligned to a particular priority, the reality is that each one cuts across and contributes to a number of priorities. Our strategic business planning approach and leadership structures are designed to ensure that all of our priorities, key programmes and activities are developed and delivered in a cross-Council and, where necessary, cross-partner way.
Solihull Council aims to improve lives by delivering great services. We have always prided ourselves on high quality services while being efficient, responsible and innovative in the way we use resources.
Some of the challenges for the Council include the following:
- Increasing demand for specialist services. For example, Solihull has experienced an increase in the number of looked after children over the past two years. The increase in the number of older residents, particularly those 85, also generates increasing demand for services.
- Our service design and our workforce need to reflect the increasing diversity of the population that we serve.
- In designing our offer for the future we have divided our services into three categories (universal, targeted and specialist), each with a different focus and a different proposal. Enabling independence – by encouraging and supporting residents to do as much as possible for themselves, looking out for those around them and coming together with others to tackle local issues – is a theme that runs throughout these offers.
- We must learn to work even more creatively with our partners to deploy our resources more effectively. At the same time, the political, social and legal complexity of the environment in which we operate requires an efficient and agile organisation that can respond appropriately as priorities shift.
Maximising our opportunities
Despite increasingly constrained central funding and uncertainty over proposed changes to how this funding will be distributed across local government, councils have new opportunities to foster, and to benefit from, local economic growth.
Only by growing our economy, encouraging existing business growth and proactively encouraging Foreign Direct Investment and relocation of national businesses into Solihull, will we expand our ability to generate revenue for our public services through local business rates as well as provide employment opportunities. This will mean bringing our physical infrastructure, land and human assets into a coherent policy to support this economic growth. Our track record is very strong in this area but achieving this will require a renewed vigour into the next decade.
Securing economic growth is not an end in itself, but is a means of achieving wellbeing, inclusion and shared prosperity. We have strengths in many areas and we need to build upon these strengths in order to ensure that our economic growth is relevant to all of our population, providing opportunities for all.
Our approach to regeneration has been strong for a number of years. How we work with the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and our Urban Growth Company into the next decade is mission critical to maintain our position and increasing our relevance to the UK economy.
Our relationship with the European and global economy is changing. Our positioning in Solihull, as a council, across those things that we are legally required to do and as a people and place leader will require even greater skill and the ability to adapt.
Managing change, at pace, and often without a longer-term view will require determination and adaptability as well as joined up thinking and action. Here in Solihull we are preparing to be ready for beyond the horizon.
For more information about the Council and other useful reading please take a look at the following additional documents and links:
- UK Central website
- Solihull Council website
- Council Plan
- Medium Term Financial Strategy
- Corporate Structure Chart
- Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Summary
- Safer Solihull Strategic Assessment
- Solihull People & Place
Additional Information Relating to the Head of Procurement Role:
- Appendix 1 SMBC Performance NPS 2018
- Award winning submission for GO awards 18
- Cabinet report - Social Value Policy update June 2019
- Council Rules for Contracts - March 2018
- CPS Organisational Structure Sept 2019
- List of Awards for the Corporate Procurement Service
- Resources Directorate Structure
- Social Value Policy June 2019
- Solihull's performance against the National Procurement Strategy 2018
- Terms of Reference Procurement Board V7
The present Metropolitan Borough of Solihull has existed since 1 April 1974 when the Local Government Act 1972 came into force and created the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.
This new Metropolitan Borough was formed by merging the old County Borough of Solihull with parts of Stratford and Meriden Rural District Councils. The new borough incorporated the civil parishes of Balsall, Barston, Berkswell, Castle Bromwich, Chelmsley Wood, Fordbridge, Hampton-in-Arden, Hockley Heath, Kingshurst and Meriden, covering a total area of 44,495 acres with a population of 206,700*.
Solihull has been voted as one of the best places to live in the UK. As one of the most prosperous towns in the Midlands, almost 70 percent of our borough is designated as green belt. We enjoy great communication links with the M40, M42 and M6 all close by and an excellent network of railways plus, of course, an international airport.
We are home to the award winning Touchwood Shopping Centre, National Exhibition Centre and the Genting Arena including Resorts World.
Did you know?
- The name Solihull probably derives from the Old English sol hyll meaning 'muddy hill'.
- People born in Solihull are referred to as ‘Silhillians’.
- Solihull's motto is 'Urbs in Rure' which translates as 'the town in the country'.
- The National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull houses the largest collection of British motorcycles in the world: 1,000 machines from 171 different manufacturers.
- Solihull has over 1,500 acres of parks and open spaces - 14 of which hold the Green Flag Award status.
- As well as Jaguar Land Rover, Solihull is also home to the Genting Arena, NEC and Birmingham Airport.
- Traditionally, Meriden (one of the villages in Solihull) has been considered the geographical centre of England.
Famous Silhillians include:
- Author - John Wyndham
- Actors - Stephanie Cole, Lucy Davis, Felicity Kendal
- Presenters - Simon Mayo, Richard Hammond
- Newsreaders - Michael Buerk, Lizo Mzimba
- Sportsperson - Martin Johnson (former England rugby captain)
- Comedian - Stewart Lee