This episode is with Adele Taylor, the Executive Director of Finance and Commercial Services at Slough Borough Council.
Those of you who know your local government onions will be aware that Slough has been in some financial difficultly. Adele joined the council earlier this year with a remit to get the finances back under control and to rebuild confidence and trust with local residents.
I think its fair to say that Adele is attracted to a crisis situation and feels her skill set is well suited to it – I completely agree. She is also a finance director who really gets the importance of culture and relationships particularly when the priority is re-establishing trust both within and with people outside the council.
We talk about how aware local residents are of their council’s financial situation and the impact it has on those who rely on services, especially when terms like “bankruptcy” are used freely (and incorrectly). Adele also understands the need to communicate the financial situation in understandable terms both within the council to staff and members, but also to the wider public.
We also talk about the value of diversity within the public services workforce and the huge value people with different perspectives and abilities bring to an area like finance, which is sometimes regarded as quite dry and purely objective.
And finally, if you are looking for a bit of inspiration as to why a career in local government is the right thing – Adele gives a powerful rallying call to people to say “come and work in a council and have an meaningful career. Look at the amazing things we do!”.