South Kesteven District Council's commitment to investing in the growth and development of its staff has cemented its reputation of having a supportive and engaging work culture. To delve deeper, we spoke with Shaza Brannon, planning policy manager, and Phil Jordan, development management & enforcement manager, to learn what makes working at South Kesteven District Council such a fantastic experience.
The council's new workspaces promote collaboration
#TeamSK - a collaborative and supportive work culture
Shaza and Phil both praise the supportive culture at South Kesteven District Council, which fosters personal and professional development. The council's "grow your own" ethos allows employees to progress their careers. For example, supported by the council, two members of Shaza’s team have recently graduated with an MSc in Town Planning and are working towards chartered membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute.
The planning team thrives in a culture that encourages individual development and teamwork. As Shaza comments: “My colleagues and I support each other even if we are in different departments…the council has a culture of collaborative working to ensure that projects are done on time.”
“A real mix between urban and rural planning”
The planning policy team is currently working on a Local Plan review that will shape development up to 2041, including several large sustainable urban extensions to the towns. Remarkably, the council is one of only two councils in the country to have successfully fixed their five-year housing land supply through an Annual Position Statement.
“It sounds a bit cliche but no two days are ever the same, with a real mix of urban and rural planning” says Phil. The team is responsible for a large number and variety of planning applications, from tree applications and minor developments to large scale residential and commercial developments.
He adds: “The new Grantham relief road is facilitating a lot of growth. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of larger scale developments around Grantham at the moment. Wider issues such as climate change also mean we are seeing a lot of renewable energy development, in particular solar farms.”
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The infrastructure delivery officer role
One of the many exciting career opportunities that have arisen at South Kesteven District Council is the strategically important role of infrastructure delivery officer. This position involves collaborating with internal departments and external infrastructure providers to secure development contributions and deliver essential infrastructure for the community.
Phil says: “This is a really exciting new role that has been created following a restructure and a great opportunity for someone to get involved with different teams and organisations to help deliver infrastructure, such as open space, education and health facilities. It would be ideally suited to someone who is very organised and with good communication skills, but it also needs a proactive approach where the successful candidate can really make their own mark.”
Brand new offices and flexible working
Following a prolonged period of remote working, the council has made a significant investment in new offices that create a collaborative and productive atmosphere. Shaza relishes operating in the brand new open-plan offices that stimulate cooperation between diverse teams.
She says: “I particularly like the collaborative working breakout spaces and the latest technology. We are encouraged to work in the office two days a week but I am often in three to four days a week as I thrive off the office environment.”
The council's hybrid and flexi-working model has enabled staff to strike a healthy work-life balance. This has been especially beneficial for Phil, who has two young children, who says: “The flexibility provided by the hybrid approach to office and home working is great for allowing me to work around family life. This flexible approach means anyone can work the hours that suit them best to get the job done.”
Shaza also values the council's hybrid working and flexi-time policies, which enable her to achieve a good work-life balance and gives her the flexibility to work without missing out on family commitments.
South Kesteven - a great place to live and work
Both Shaza and Phil express their enthusiasm for South Kesteven as a great place to live and work, and many employees use the train network as the station is a short walk away from the council offices. Shaza says: “Due to the fantastic strategic transport links, my commute to Grantham up the A1 is relatively stress-free.”
Living in South Kesteven provides an excellent work-life balance since Nottingham, Leicester, Peterborough, and Lincoln are all within an hour's commute. Phil shares his enthusiasm for the district too, citing that it encompasses four market towns, including Grantham, Stamford, Bourne, and the Deepings, and over 100 villages, providing a diverse range of living options.
Watch now: Shaza Brannon talks about what it's like to work for #TeamSK
If you're looking to work at South Kesteven District Council, Shaza and Phil recommend that you show a proactive approach, willingness to learn, and a strong work ethic. They also suggest demonstrating good communication skills, organisational abilities and an ability to work in a team.
South Kesteven District Council is currently recruiting for the following roles:
- Principal Planning Officer, £44,778 - £47,286
- Senior Planning Officer, £37,461 - £39,714
- Development Management Planning Officer, £29,241 - £35,811
- Infrastructure Delivery Officer, £31,266
- Assistant Planning Policy Officer, Up to £29,241
- Planning Enforcement Officer, £21,744 - £29,241
To discuss career opportunities or any questions you may have please get in touch with Shaza Brannon: Shaza.Brannon@southkesteven.gov.uk or 01476 406 282 or Phil Jordan: phil.Jordan@southkesteven.gov.uk.
>> Explore town planning careers at South Kesteven District Council <<