Service Director Highways and Community Protection

Build a bright future on the Isle of Wight

This vacancy closed for applications on 29 October 2023.

Salary: Grade 17 From £86,646.00 to £93,178.00 per annum 

A view showing a tar road leading to Freshwater bay showing cliffs, green fields and blue sea

The Challenge

Are you a dynamic and enthusiastic leader? Can you make a positive impact for the council and our diverse Island communities?

The Service Director of Highways and Community Protection is a newly created post bringing together the following areas under one strategic service area to ensure our Island is a sustainable, connected and safe place with a thriving economy.

  • Highways
  • Strategic Transport
  • Environmental Health 
  • Licensing
  • Trading Standards
  • Community Safety 
  • Coroners Service

The authority is vibrant and forward-thinking, working as ‘One Council’ committed to delivering excellence. We put the Island at the heart of everything we do.

Colin Rowland - Strategic Director for Community Services, says:

"We are excited to be offering this unique opportunity to build on strong foundations and create a set of services to be proud of. Any organisation is only as good as the sum of its parts and the new service director along with colleagues will have a shared focus for the future, embedding our values at our very core.

We want you to help us in putting our communities at the heart of what we do as an essential part of providing excellent services that keep our communities safe and enable a sustainable connected future for the Island.

These are challenging times for local government. On the Island we are at a turning point with a new senior team committed to driving forward our vision, with a passion to invest in and support our communities into the future”.

We are ambitious, with a diverse portfolio of interesting projects. Recently we have delivered significant highways and regeneration related infrastructure projects including:   

  • £10 million Transforming Cities funding towards a partnership project of around £50 million for the Ryde rail and ferry gateway improvements
  • over £8million of road improvements and cycling network investment in Newport and Ryde
  • £2million road safety improvements to one of the principal roads on the Island
  • leading a £60million joint council and Environment Agency coastal and flood defence programme
  • well established partnerships to deliver and enable effective community protection services
  • the development and delivery of an Island Climate and Environment Strategy

The Job

The Service Director for Highways and Community Protection will help develop an ambitious transport strategy to complement the relationship with our PFI provider (Island Roads) and stakeholders. The goal is to ensure a sustainable, connected future for the Island.

As the new Service Director you will lead a hardworking, dedicated team. The task ahead is to build and evolve that workforce and shape the future of our services as you:
  • deliver an excellent highways service through our PFI contract
  • build connections between investment in highways infrastructure and economic development
  • implement plans to improve sustainable transport infrastructure, road safety, and regulatory compliance
  • lead the delivery of key infrastructure projects and programmes
  • manage budgets and resources efficiently
  • collaborate with stakeholders, local communities, and government bodies to drive positive change
  • support the delivery of statutory duties within Community Protection and HM Coroners service

You will promote safety, wellbeing and prosperity of our 140,000 residents, local businesses and an estimated 2.5 million visitors each year.

While work here is every bit as demanding as elsewhere in the UK, due to the unique geography there are some ‘perks’ that are hard to beat! Full of surprises and opportunity, the Isle of Wight is a beautiful place in which to live and work for a wonderful work life balance.

Home to large 'areas of outstanding natural beauty' and designated an UNESCO biosphere reserve, there are great places to walk, run, cycle or enjoy the coastal waters for swimming, sailing, surfing and kayaking. The Island also boasts the highest number of award-winning beaches in England!

The Person

You will have significant experience in leading and managing infrastructure projects, dealing with stakeholders and supporting and facilitating third party infrastructure initiatives.

You must be able to demonstrate experience in leading on major contractual service arrangements and show flexibility and problem-solving skills. You will need to quickly adapt to leading the team in the PFI contractual relationship with our service provider Island Roads. Highways and transportation knowledge will be valuable, yet it is not necessary to have specific experience of managing highways services or PFI projects.

Your skillset should also include:

  • a relevant degree or substantial experience in a local authority management role
  • exceptional leadership and communication skills
  • proven experience in strategic planning, project management and delivery
  • proven ability to establish credibility and constructive working relationships with senior managers and elected members

You will have a history of managing relationships with relevant stakeholders and partners successfully. This will include government agencies, local councillors, businesses, parishes, town councils and community organisations.

Customer care and partnership working is key to our approach, so you will have the ability to lead customer focused improvement. Reputation management is also vital.

Please note: For those considering a move to the island, a relocation package of up to £8000 is available (subject to criteria).  You could also work flexibly and commute regularly via the transport gateways at Cowes, Ryde, or Yarmouth (travel allowance subject to criteria).

the new interchange at Ryde with a green bus and pedestrians, traffic island, lampposts and buildings

Job Pack

Supporting information

How to apply

This vacancy closed for applications on 29 October 2023. No further applications will be accepted.
If you have submitted your application, our Human Resources team will be in touch to let you know what the next steps are.
If you have any queries about your application, please contact

For those invited to interview the programme of events will be; Stakeholder Panel presentation (virtual); Technical Interview (in-person); Team Q&A (in-person); Interviews are planned for week commencing 13 November 2023.


As well as being a great place to work we also offer a competitive rewards and benefits package, including:

  • 32 days annual leave PLUS public holidays
  • agile and flexible working policies
  • relocation package of up to £8,000 
  • home relocation scheme via Help to Buy
  • local government pension scheme
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC)
  • Solent ferry travel discounts
  • local and national staff discount and benefits
  • Island bus network discount
  • cycle to work scheme
  • staff parking permit
  • discounted leisure and gym membership
  • access to private health care packages
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • digital learning hub
  • professional development

More information on the Isle of Wight employment offer

Living on the Isle of Wight

Living on our beautiful Island is also rewarded by lower housing costs! As of 2022, Rightmove identified that Isle of Wight properties cost 42.7% less than the average house price elsewhere in the South East of England. They found that the average house price on the Isle of Wight was £297,062 compared to £458,397 across the South East region as a whole!

Home to world renowned music and fringe festivals, major international sporting events and a treasure trove of history there is always something new and exciting happening. When it comes to creative thinking, the Island’s beauty and lifestyle have long inspired ambitious minds from Charles Dickens and Alfred Lord Tennyson to local talent including Dame Ellen Macarthur and current musical trailblazers Wet Leg!

Discover more about working for the Isle of Wight Council and living on the Island

If you're ready to lead and innovate, to drive our council and community forward, then we want to hear from you. Apply now and be a part of a dynamic new management team dedicated to building a brighter future for the Isle of Wight.

Together, we can create a safer, more prosperous, and sustainable community.

Join us on this exciting journey towards a better tomorrow.

Newport town hall and the red lights of car on the high street at night