Mansfield District Council’s new Chief Executive Officer, Adam Hill, joined the organisation on Monday 1 August, following a previous tenure as Deputy Chief Executive – at Swansea Council.
Adam, a married father of three children, brings with him an impressive and well-established 33 years of experience in the public, private and third sectors – but he is no stranger to Mansfield.
Speaking about his return to the district, he said: “Mansfield was my local authority as I was growing up, so for me, this is a sort of ‘coming home’. Mansfield gave me my first job over 33 years ago as a lifeguard and swimming instructor, so what better area could you work for than the place where you grew up? Hopefully, with the help of our workforce, I can make that positive change to better where we are – both now and in the future.
“I’m proud and excited to be back as Chief Executive where I grew up. To see the exciting changes that Mansfield has been through already, I want to galvanise and make it even better. With all the experience I’ve gathered across the country in various roles, I’m thrilled I can now invest it back into where I grew up to help ensure our ambitious current and future plans will be delivered for the residents, business and visitors to Mansfield.”
Adam began his career after studying at Nottingham Business School, and went on to work locally in Ashfield District Council and Broxtowe Borough Council, as well as other local authorities across England. Adam has also had a senior role at The University of the West of England leading their business services.
Speaking of his aspirations for the town: “I have lots of aspirations for Mansfield – and it’s one of the key areas from our strategy I want to hone in on. Mansfield has so much going for itself already – brilliant parks, great architecture, and business growth – we are the jewel in the crown of Nottinghamshire, so we need to show it off,” Adam continued.
He summarised the key strengths for Mansfield as having a successful brand on which to build, great infrastructure, good digital connectivity, great housing developments and our passionate people.
He added: “What I want to improve is that we are no longer hidden. We need to be out there on a national and international level showcasing Mansfield is the place to be for the future.”
With an impressive portfolio, including transformational change, regeneration, leisure, culture, legal and democratic services, Adam has substantial experience in working with councillors, stakeholders and in corporate planning and governance.
During his second week with the council, Adam has since launched his 60-day plan with colleagues at the council to demonstrate what his plans are to learn more about the council set-up and how he can then implement his direction for the future.
“It focuses on four key elements; engagement and communication, observation and listening, understanding the context (internally and externally) and new horizons,” he said.
“I need to learn about the roles in the council, the team responsibilities, and meet councillors, partners and businesses to understand the pulse of the organisation and the connections. Then I need to listen, attend external meetings, walk the floor, be visible and understand our leadership styles. Next comes context, the policy procedures we have in place, strategies, plans and our performance and risk management. Finally, the horizon, what are our opportunities, what is the customer experience and look to explore more communication channels and networks.”
Discussing what is on his agenda, Adam summarised he will be putting community, the council workforce and partnerships at the top – to make Mansfield a destination to live, work and invest.
“In the short-term, I want to ensure we play our role in offering our residents any post-pandemic support they need, and ask them to get in touch with us as we go through this cost of living crisis so we signpost and advise on how help and support can be obtained. In the medium-term, I want us to capitalise on our partnerships, and develop our people’s skills and businesses to attract more investment into the area.
“In the long-term, I want us to play a lead role in addressing the poverty and energy crisis by looking how we can lead and engage on the carbon reduction and climate change agenda, encouraging more energy-efficient housing and encouraging new technologies that can be used to retrofit ours and private sector to make people’s lives better and more self-sustainable. I want to also upskill our workforce to make them ready for the next opportunities coming our way.”
Acknowledging the challenges our district faces, Adam says the strength to rebuild and improve is in our people. “We have a fantastic set of services both internally and with our partners externally – Mansfield is known as the entrepreneurial capital so let’s shout about that and make sure our young people have the aspiration, ambition, skills and access to the education they need to make sure it is achievable for them,” he said.
But how to achieve that? He acknowledged these bold plans cannot be done alone and will need support from our partners and wider districts – from our own Place Board to D2N2, local businesses, Mansfield BID, third sector and many more.
He added: “Partnerships are crucial for us, we can’t do this alone. I’m going to be looking for how we can work with our partners across the third, private and even other local authorities to be able to deliver on the aspirations for our community.”
As he now embarks on meeting more of the council’s staff and visiting its partners and key figures in the district, Adam shared this message.
He said: “My message to you all would be to work with us to make Mansfield a better place. We want you to know the path to the future and to feedback to us along the way so we can all make it a place we can aspire, achieve and live healthy lives together.”