The newly-appointed chief executive of Bolsover District and NE Derbyshire District councils is determined to drive growth while protecting public services.
With Government austerity measures continuing to squeeze council budgets, Dan Swaine is under no illusions about the challenges he faces but is confident the authorities have the talented teams and developmental and business opportunities to improve lives.
Many businesses are keeping a keen eye on the success of Markham Vale commercial estate, the development of The Avenue site, and council plans for the transformation of the former Coalite chemical site, at Shuttlewood, for industrial purposes.
Under Mr Swaine and Bolsover council business consultant Derek Mapp, business breakfasts are being arranged so the public and private sectors can unite and support Bolsover District’s growth strategy.
Mr Swaine said: “Bolsover and NE districts are close and face similar issues and aspirations with growth and the protection of front line services. Both are committed to transforming the region. What has attracted me is the progressive and ambitious steps that have been taken by the councils to share management and approaches with a strategy that is committed to working for residents. We’re well placed and on top of finances. Fundamentally we want to transform how we do business but protect frontline services, reduce costs and deliver growth but it needs to be the right kind of growth for the community leaders that represent our residents.”
The 42-year-old father-of-two may be one of the youngest council CEOs but he boasts a proud pedigree. He has worked in local Government for more than 25 years after starting at Sheffield City Council as a trainee. He progressed at other authorities before moving to Rushcliffe Borough Council in 2009 to eventually become its deputy chief executive.
At Rushcliffe he was instrumental in levering significant funding to support economic development for the A46 corridor and the Cotgrave former colliery site changes, and oversaw a council strategy that helped save £4m-plus.
He is also a great believer in partnerships and multi-agency working and is looking forward to working with business and funding groups including D2N2 and the Sheffield Local Enterprise Partnership.
He said: “We are open for business and can’t do it alone and we need partnerships as economic areas overlap and we need to bring jobs for local people, provide opportunities for our kids and support our industry, employers and schools.”
Bolsover has struck a deal to build 100 council homes and NE Derbyshire announced outline planning permission has been granted for 550 houses at Holmewood.
Mr Swaine said: “There is a commitment with a quality level of housing stock and we’re looking at where we can expand respective of demand. We want to work with developers and provide appropriate viable and affordable housing.”
Mr Swaine was appointed Bolsover and NE Derbyshire’s CEO on October 1 and has already proven to be well-informed about the region.
He added: “We want to provide people and their families with the services they need and the opportunities for the right type of education and schools and jobs. We want to ensure a safe and clean and green environment where they can access services. I want people to be confident Bolsover and NE Derbyshire can achieve its true potential. We need employment and planning opportunities and we need to protect services through growth. As an area that is still feeling the effects of the demise of the mining industry, we want to lift our people and the area.”