Dawn Baxendale: Chiefs have lost their public service raison d’être

By Sam Clayden | 28 June 2017

‘Let’s go somewhere with a bit more of a buzz,’ says Southampton City Council chief executive Dawn Baxendale, as she leads me from a large conference room to a small table in the council’s bustling civic office.

Here, the walls are aligned with slickly designed strategic plans printed onto single-page posters and whiteboards scrawled with targets, KPIs, memos, ideas and notes of celebration. It soon becomes obvious that none of the senior staff have separate offices – or bigger desks for that matter. The vibe feels more Silicon Valley than city hall.

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