Radical Reformers ep.21: Chris Naylor, Chief Executive, Barking and Dagenham
This episode is a real treat!
Since 2014, Chris Naylor has been the Chief Executive of Barking and Dagenham Council – but for an eventful 10 months last year, he was seconded to Birmingham City Council as their interim Chief Executive.
Chris is highly regarded in local government circles and last year was named the MJ’s Chief Executive of the year.
In our conversation, Chris describes how he has worked with colleagues at Barking and Dagenham to deliver on three key priorities: inclusive economic growth which benefits everyone; moving public services away from responding to need towards supporting people before they reach crisis point; and on building trust between the council and residents (this is against a backdrop of residents having elected 12 BNP councillors in 2006).
We also talk about his time in Birmingham as the city responded to the Covid-19 pandemic and worked to address some systemic and structural challenges. Birmingham is a super-sized council (over 1m people) - so I take the opportunity to ask Chris for his thoughts on what the right size and scale of a council is.
It’s a hugely interesting and insightful conversation and I hope you enjoy it!