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Working at West Northamptonshire Council

Collage of 12 photos showing WNC staff in different departments

It is a really exciting time to be joining us.

Our leadership team sees our workforce (of just under 3,000 employees) playing a vital part in helping to transform our council so we can deliver the best services to residents and focus on those who are the most vulnerable.

We need to think and work differently in order to bring about the transformation required across our services and you can be an important part of our journey.

We really do have a career for everyone - from depot workers and museum assistants to finance or professional business partners, care assistants to social workers. Not only do we have a great variety of positions but great opportunities to develop your career.

A message from our Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Anna Earnshaw, Chief Executive 

Launched on 1 April 2021 following local government reform, we are one of the largest unitary councils in the country and have a unique opportunity to build a better future for our communities. As a young council, we can shape our journey and destination and there is much to do in order to deliver on our priorities and fulfil our ambition.

We are proud of our commitment to leading through our Thrive values; Trust, High Performing, Respect, Innovative, Value and Empower. We are building a supportive, collaborative culture in our organisation, where councillors and colleagues work together to make a real difference. 

We embrace flexible and hybrid working which has enabled us to recruit a talented team from across the country. We have developed active staff networks and have a strong commitment to equalities within our organisation and across our communities. We support colleagues to maximise their potential and to take the next step in their careers. 

West Northants is a great place to live, with wonderful countryside, heritage, leisure opportunities, and many strong established businesses. We have many strengths including top level sports and world class industries such as engineering, motorsport, logistics and financial service, and as a result we are a place that’s attracting some new and exciting businesses looking to invest as part of our regeneration plans. We aim to encourage more organisations to invest and grow in West Northants, helping to springboard us to greater prosperity. 

We firmly believe that we have the opportunity to create a bright future and we will use our combined strengths to improve the lives of people who live and work in West Northants, to help the area and help everyone here to reach their full potential. We will be progressing these aims through our “live your best life” initiative, supported by work we are doing on anti-poverty, skills and wellbeing.

To achieve our ambition, we know that the Council must work with partners across and beyond West Northants, and we are committed to doing that, to improve the services and focus on the priorities that are most important to our 425,000 residents.

We want to be an authority that puts the environment first and considers the carbon cost in all of our own decision-making. But we also want to encourage and support others to do the same, and to help us shape a cleaner, greener and more sustainable West Northants.

Ensuring our children have the best start in life and parents have the right support and environments in which to raise their families is a priority for us. We need to continue making improvements to our children’s services and will achieve this by working with our Children’s Trust, and with schools to raise educational performance. We are also seizing the opportunity to work closely with health and other partners to achieve better outcomes for our children through wider collaboration and shred priorities based on what children tell us is important.

We believe that all adults should be supported to live their best life. For us this means helping them to live and stay independent and self-sufficient lives for as long as possible. If people are vulnerable or lack a support network, we provide the support they need and we have a philosophy of sticking like glue to those who need help through a crisis and until they are back on a stable footing. We are working with health in more integrated ways every day and we are jointly designing new integrated ways of working so that we can support all our residents to live well, stay well and age well.

It’s an exciting time for West Northants - if you are inspired by our story and would like to be part of our journey, get in touch!


As the Chief Executive I am proud of the foundations we have built since West Northants Council came into existence in April 2021. We have an incredible workforce who are committed to the delivery our ambitions and the opportunities presented as a result of becoming the fourth largest unitary councils in the Country.

There are very few industries that offer the breadth and depth or services that Councils provide and while we will always be judged on the basis of public facing services, we recognise that the backbone of our success is in the corporate services that enable change and keep us safe.  

The skilled staff we recruit and retain are vital to ongoing success and we provide a welcoming, professional and collaborative environment in which to THRIVE.  

Anna Earnshaw, Chief Executive West Northants Council 

West Northants is not just a great place to work but also a great place to support your career ambitions and aspirations. As a new Council we have managed to create a positive supporting environment that means people have the opportunity to Thrive and progress.

Our leadership team are really visible, approachable and provide opportunities for our workforce to shape and influence the way are services are delivered. Working for us means you can be a part of our improvement journey as we look to ensure children, young people and adults have every opportunity to live their best lives. 

Stuart Lackenby, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of People Services, (DASS) 

As one of the youngest councils in the country, West Northants is a really exciting place to be with a fantastic team of colleagues and councillors working together to make a difference.

We are passionate about equalities and are building a culture of inclusivity, enabling everyone to feel valued and part of the team.  

Rebecca Peck, Assistant Chief Executive 

Watch Alison Golding talk about our people and working for WNC.

Watch our Chief Executive Anna Earnshaw talk about the wide range of opportunities available at WNC.

West Northamptonshire Council is a new single unitary council, established on 1 April 2021, responsible for providing a range of public services to our 425,000 residents and to businesses across the areas of Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire.

Our services include:

  • education
  • maintenance of parks and open spaces
  • highways
  • street cleaning
  • adult social care
  • environmental health
  • libraries
  • planning services
  • collection of household waste

Our political make-up

Elections for the new authority were held on 6 May 2021 with the Conservatives winning an overall majority.

The Council comprises 93 councillors elected across 31 wards. As a result of the 2021 elections, the Conservatives hold 65 seats, the Labour Party hold 20, the Liberal Democrats hold 5 and there are 3 independent councillors.

The Leader is Cllr Jonathan Nunn.

See details of our Cabinet.

Everything we want to achieve for West Northants depends on having the right people in place and doing the right things.

We need to retain, recruit and develop talented and committed staff to provide the best services for our local residents and businesses. By making the most of people’s skills and experience, we can take full advantage of the opportunities created by the new council.

Everyone needs to be performing at their best to make the most of the opportunity we have with our young Council.

To support this, West Northants Council has developed a set of values in consultation with our staff, members and stakeholders. These values underpin how we work and what partners and customers can expect from us. We want to do our very best for our residents, service users and businesses and for our staff - we want everyone to THRIVE.

Similarly, where services are provided through partners or external organisations, we will work with them to make sure these values are carried through in delivering services on our behalf.

Our organisational culture will continue to develop as we carry on improving our services and ways of working.

Watch a video about our values.

Trust

  • Be honest, highlight any issues at the earliest opportunity so we work together to resolve them, learn from them and move forward
  • Seek and provide feedback to colleagues using professional, clear and honest communication
  • Support each other and act as one team with a focus on solutions rather than blame

High Performing

  • Engage with and strive to achieve individual performance outcomes
  • Exercise professional curiosity by asking questions, researching and taking control of our own learning
  • Look for new or more effective ways of meeting individual and service outcomes

Respect

  • Be a positive champion for the council, acting with respect and professionalism to resolve issues
  • Reflect on the impact our behaviours may have on others, care about the wellbeing of colleagues and act on behavioural feedback
  • Be considerate of others, accepting and embracing differences, to broaden perspectives and create opportunities

Innovate

  • Work together to find solutions to problems, thinking about ways to achieve what we need, not reasons why we can’t
  • Listen and react constructively to new ideas, openly supporting and promoting them
  • Be prepared to take on a new challenge outside of their comfort zone

Value

  • Ensure efficient use of Council resources and be mindful of reducing harmful impacts on the environment
  • Share ideas for continuous improvement to existing processes
  • Seek out best practice from elsewhere and consider how it can be applied to their area of work

Empower

  • Take ownership and be accountable for their own actions and performance
  • Take control of their own learning, seeking opportunities to grow and develop
  • Own their Valuing Individual Performance (V.I.P) conversation, regularly reviewing and revising their work objectives/personal goals with their manager

Watch a short film outlining our WNC behaviours.

We have four office locations across West Northamptonshire in Daventry, Towcester, and the heart of Northampton:

  • One Angel Square, Northampton
  • The Guildhall, Northampton
  • The Forum, Towcester
  • The Abbey Centre, Daventry

Agile, hybrid and flexible working

We are committed to providing equal opportunity for all.

We recognise that offering agile and flexible working arrangements can help to increase the diversity of our workforce and improve work life balance for staff, while ensuring our services deliver against our 6 corporate priorities.

We give staff greater choice and flexibility in when they work by providing the opportunity to change work patterns. This can be done by applying for agile or flexible working arrangements, including part time, job share, term time only, annualised hours and flexi time.

We appreciate that across our organisation, our colleagues work in a wide range of ways and locations. Our West Ways of Working programme acknowledges the diversity of working types and encourages our employees to develop a working pattern that properly suits their job role.

Our worker types include Fixed Workers, Part Flexible Workers, Flexible Workers and Operational Field Based Workers.

Find out more about our 4 worker types on our future ways of working page.

We want to create the right conditions for a modern, flexible and agile workforce to thrive, and to drive improvements in:

  • our productivity and efficiency
  • service quality
  • customer experience
  • our wellbeing

At West Northants Council, we have fostered a culture of teamwork and aim to always celebrate each other’s achievements.

Our annual THRIVE Awards celebrate the stand-out individuals who have strived to go the extra mile across West Northants over the past year. A weekly email from our Chief Executive, Anna Earnshaw, is a great round-up of the work that goes on across the council, both big and small.

The interactive elements of our intranet, such as our staff social board, allow for colleagues to connect over staff news, fundraising opportunities and local events activities.

We have on online Kudos board which is a wonderful way for our colleagues to show appreciation for each other.

We also have a number of active staff networks:

  • Carers' ​network
  • Early Careers network
  • Disability ​​network
  • LGBTQ+ ​and Allies network
  • Equality, Ethnicity and Diversity​ network
  • Christians At Work (CAW) network
  • Menopause​ network
  • Armed Forces Community network​
  • Physical and Mental Wellbeing network
  • Women’s​ network
  • Sustainability​ network

Watch Anna Earnshaw, our Chief Executive, talk about our culture and values and leadership support.

We appreciate and value all our employees' contributions and recognise that everyone brings with them a unique set of skills, experience and talents. We want to ensure that each person who works for WNC feels valued and supported.

We strive to support all our colleagues in a variety of ways – from offering flexible working to support commitments outside of work, a generous annual leave allowance to enable people sufficient time off to recharge, to access to counselling, legal advice, bereavement support and medical information which is available every day of the year.

Find out more about our employee wellbeing benefits.

West Northants Council’s commitment to DEI is that: 

We are committed to ensuring diversity, equality, equity and inclusion is woven into the fabric of WNC and everything we do, to enable all colleagues to develop and maximize their full potential. 

We commit to engaging, learning and being open to advancing DEI in WNC, no matter how sensitive or challenging this may be. 

We are committed to listening to our workforce and our staff networks who help us challenge to improve, and to creating working groups and networks externally with partners so we can learn from each other. 

We recognise that individuals still experience discrimination and inequality in our society, and therefore as an employer we commit to taking a pro-active approach to identifying and addressing this within our workplace. 

We view diversity as a strength to be harnessed and commit to building an inclusive workplace culture where the thoughts, ideas and perspectives of all individuals matter and contribute to our success. 

The following film was created by our DEI staff network group - watch WNC colleagues explain what DEI means to us.

If you'll be new to the county, find out what it's like to live and work in Northamptonshire.

Armed Forces Covenant, Diversity jobs, Thrive and care leaver covenant logos

Last updated 25 October 2023