GMCA and the Role
Greater Manchester Combined Authority is probably the leading combined authority in the UK, with the widest span of responsibilities, the closest link to our members, the most direct link to services and the highest profile outside London. We span from public transport to health and social care. We are the trailblazers for devolution in England.
Over the last decade, we have demonstrated the art of the possible by taking on greater powers, budgets and responsibilities to drive a collective vision for the city-region’s near 3 million residents. Let’s put that in context – we work with partners to pioneer new approaches across a huge range of public services for a population similar in size to that of Wales.
The recent Levelling Up white paper served to highlight just how far Greater Manchester has already come while opening the door to further devolution. We are keen to grasp the new opportunities offered by this new policy imperative, going further in areas such as skills, education and learning, transport and housing. Our new Monitoring Officer will help us navigate everything the future holds.
Our ambition is captured in our latest strategy – Our People, Our Place. Its 10 priorities cover everything from equipping young people for life, through building world class connectivity, to plans to build more than 10,000 new homes by 2035 while driving up standards in the rented sector as part of an integrated approach to place-making.
This role is truly career defining. Our Monitoring Officer sits at our heart, reporting to the GMCA Chief Executive, and accountable to 10 Leaders and the elected Mayor. Complexity is guaranteed, overseeing all we do and might do, including our transport body, the health and social care partnership, the police, fire and waste management, our spatial plan, housing and our focus on improving skills, jobs and the economy. But it doesn’t end there – there’s also all our regional and national partnerships, and the Mayoral elections. Nowhere else does a deeply experienced public sector lawyer sit at the top table and exert such direct strategic influence and judgement across so many agendas, impacting on so many lives.
Our new Solicitor will work across the system as a visible and respected strategic leader with strong professional credentials, excellent judgement and amazing interpersonal skills. They will have been a Monitoring Officer in a local authority that has faced many similar issues to those experienced across Greater Manchester. They’ll bring excellent experience of working successfully with the most senior politicians, at Board level. They’ll be as much a Corporate Director as they are senior lawyer. They will carry their insight, expertise and judgement with humility, clarity and deeply held personal values. Respected amongst their peers, as much for their capacity to engage, listen and influence as for their legal judgement, focus and passion. They’ll bring the highest possible ethical standards informed by a practical, real-world approach to delivering change across organisations, sectors and nationally. They’ll be can-do whilst knowing when and where to draw the line, with the capacity to speak truth to power.
We don’t necessarily expect the finished article, this could be a role to grow into for the right person. This makes sense to us, as there’s nothing else like this role. But you’ll need the strong foundations to build on, and the capacity to flourish centre-stage in one of the most exciting roles in local government in the UK. If you’re excited by this opportunity and suitably daunted by the challenge, this might just be for you.