The county of West Sussex sits on the south coast of England covering 768 square miles and is predominately rural in character but with a number of large towns. Over half of the land area of our county is designated as protected countryside. Our county has good transport links to London via mainline rail services and the M23 corridor. Gatwick Airport offers excellent national and international links. So you think you know West Sussex, one should never judge a book by the cover…

Our County Council has set itself a bold ambition focussed on three priorities, giving children the best start in life, championing the local economy and independence for longer later in life. We believe in collaborative working across the local government family, the wider public and private sectors. We believe in changing the lives of all our residents for the better by engaging with our residents, and delivering outcomes which most matter to their lives.

However we have much to do to achieve these ambitions. If we are to deliver for our young people and give them the best start in life we will need to tackle educational outcomes which lag behind the national average, physical and mental well-being, meet the challenges we face in social care with ever increasing numbers and complexities, and provide the inspiration to raise the aspiration for our young people to reach their true potential. If we are to give our ageing population the quality of life we would hope for we will need to fundamentally transform the health and social care system, build more effective partnerships across the health landscape, shift the preventative agenda and develop long term partnerships with the third sector focussing on the needs of our communities. This is not a traditional social care agenda. This will only be addressed by working with our communities creating strong, safe and sustainable places. These are not new challenges for local government but we need to not shy away from them. We know what we do today will impact on the outcomes for our residents for all of their tomorrows. If you are passionate about making a real difference then we want to hear from you.

This is no ordinary place, this is a place of extraordinary ambition and opportunity. I know that the more you find out about our county, our ambition, and our opportunity, you will share that same desire to be here making a real difference.  As an organisation we have a strong political commitment to improving the lives of our residents. Despite the challenges which lay ahead for our sector we have plans to meet this challenge ‘head on’, this does not impact our ambition this fuels our ambition to improve. You will find a passionate and dedicated team of staff across our organisation. Alongside this palpable ambition is a genuine sense of opportunity. We have strong partnership relationships with our District & Boroughs, we have positive relationships with our health, third sector and ‘blue light’ partners. This is what brought me here, and will keep me here. I can’t promise you that our journey ahead will be an easy one, or that every day of your week will be the same with no surprises. But if you are someone who has vision, energy, passion, creativity, resilience and above all an absolute focus on improving the outcomes for our communities, what I can promise you is that we will give you the freedom to change lives in a way that very few of us ever get the chance to do.’

Nathan Elvery, Chief Executive, West Sussex County Council

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