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Chief Executive and Corporate Management Team

We are fully committed to being up-front, open and transparent about the individual roles and salaries of our senior leadership team, including the chief executive.

In this section, you will find out more about the chief executive and the departments that make up Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

Corporate Management Team

Corporate Management Team (CMT) is the main officer decision making body and works with and for the Councillors you elect to run key local public services such as schools, roads, culture and tourism, waste and recycling collections, social care for older people and children, libraries and parks along with major regeneration and investment projects.

The CMT meets fortnightly and is responsible, among other things, for:

  • corporate leadership and direction 
  • providing the formal response to Cabinet policy direction and the development of corporate policy and initiatives for Cabinet consideration
  • co-ordination and commissioning of Council-wide activity, planning, programme management
  • as part of our complex organisation, the CMT are collectively responsible for a gross revenue budget of circa £400 million and a five year capital programme of circa £275 million, a staff of approximately 5000 (including schools) and for the delivery of hundreds of services in Southend

Alison Griffin - Chief Executive and Town Clerk

As head of paid service, Alison is the most senior officer in the Council and through providing leadership is responsible for the effective operation of the organisation to ensure the outcomes that best serve the residents of Southend-on-Sea, its businesses, students and visitors are delivered. Alison is also the council’s returning officer and is responsible for the smooth running of elections in the area.

Andy Lewis - Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director (Growth and Housing)

Andy is deputy chief executive and strategic lead with South Essex Homes and registered providers, businesses, developers, colleges, universities and Transport East. Andy is also responsible for a number of services including:

  • housing
  • regeneration
  • business growth
  • planning
  • transport
  • infrastructure and skills

Larissa Reed - Executive Director (Neighbourhoods and Environment)

Larissa is the council’s strategic lead with the police and fire services, private sector landlords, the business improvement district and other local business associations. Larissa is also responsible for a number of services, including:

  • community safety and CCTV
  • street cleaning
  • waste services
  • highways and parking
  • parks and open spaces, including crematorium and cemeteries
  • regulatory services
  • private sector housing
  • town centre management

Michael Marks - Executive Director (Children and Public Health) 

Michael is the statutory Director of Children Services (DCS), and the strategic lead with schools, children centres and health services for children. Michael is also responsible for a number of services, including:

  • children’s services
  • youth offending service
  • learning and education
  • early years
  • SEND services
  • public health

Tandra Forster - Executive Director (Adults and Communities)

Tandra is the statutory Director of Adult Social Services (DASS) and the strategic lead with health, cultural partners and the voluntary and community sector. Tandra is also responsible for a number of services, including:

  • adult social care
  • integration and partnerships
  • homelessness and social inclusion
  • culture, including leisure, libraries, museums, art galleries and music

Joe Chesterton - Executive Director (Finance and Resources)

Joe is the senior financial officer in the Council and holds the statutory Section151 role ensuring that the Council acts appropriately in all financial matters in line with legislation..

Joe is also responsible for the following services:

  • financial planning
  • financial management
  • internal audit
  • asset management
  • procurement
  • revenues and benefits

John Williams - Executive Director (Legal and Democratic Services)

John is the senior legal officer in the Council and holds the statutory Monitoring Officer role ensuring that the Council acts appropriately in all legal matters in line with our Constitution and legislation. John is also responsible for the following services:

  • local land charges
  • legal services
  • democratic services, member support and the mayoralty
  • electoral registration and elections
  • emergency and business continuity planning

Joanna Ruffle - Executive Director (Transformation)

Joanna is the Council’s senior HR advisor and is responsible for the development of Council policy and strategy in line with our agreed ambition and goals. She also leads on the Council’s internal Transformation Programme ensuring that our staff are enabled to deliver the best possible outcomes for the people of Southend.

Joanna is also responsible for the following services:

  • customer services – including registrars
  • corporate strategy
  • HR and payroll
  • bereavement services
  • ICT

Salary and Expenses

The council's chief officer pay structure consists of 4 senior management grades as follows;

  • SMG1 (Chief Executive) £159,000
  • SMG2 (Deputy Chief Executives) £135,252
  • SMG3a (Executive Directors) £106,080
  • SMG3 (Directors) £92,345

These are spot salaries and reflect the 'rate for the job'. However there is the facility to recruit to these posts on a 'development rate' for the first 12 months to allow the candidate to grow into the full role. This rate is calculated at 90% of the 'rate for the job'.

The Chief Executive & Deputy Chief Executives are entitled to 37 days annual leave (33 days for Strategic Directors). They are entitled to be members of the Local Government Pension Scheme and pay 11.4% of their salary into this scheme. The council makes an employer contribution of 21.9% into the scheme.

Page last updated: 13/02/2020