Ian Burrows, Head of Leisure and Cultural Services

I have been Head of Leisure and Cultural Services since 2006 and consider myself fortunate to do a job that I am both passionate about, but also enjoy enormously.

I have responsibility for a wide range of diverse services from holiday activity schemes to the cemeteries via Ride London, including 2 large contracts for managing all of the Boroughs green spaces (Burleys) and leisure facilities (Places Leisure). I lead team of 32 highly skilled and motivated people and it is my role to provide overall strategic direction, leadership and motivation for the team. Of course I also work closely with other teams such as Customer Services and Legal and join these services in delivering cross cutting health objectives to meet the wider Surrey Health and Wellbeing priorities for example.

I work closely with the Portfolio Holder For Leisure and Cultural Services and support my team to work with the 48 elected Councillors across the political landscape. This can vary from regular updates and briefings to key members on a specific topic (eg Oak Processionary Moth) or dealing with local issues over the land ownership and responsibility for a specific highway verge!

I have a wider remit as part of the council’s Leadership Group to drive corporate improvement, challenging service performance and finding better ways of working with other Heads of Service. I have found working with other teams very rewarding and it is always interesting to hear someone else’s viewpoint (and you quite often end up with a better outcome that you would never have considered!).

Above all the thing I enjoy most about my role is the variety, and no matter how long I’ve been a head of service, no two days have ever been the same!