Sheffield needs to be more ambitious, says new council chief executive
The new chief executive of Sheffield Council says the city isn't "punching its weight" and needs to be more ambitious.
Kate Josephs has arrived at Sheffield Town Hall with an impressive CV - she spent almost three years in Washington working for the US Federal Government before heading to Whitehall to be a senior leader in the Department for Education, HM Treasury and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.
It's quite a switch to move into local government but she describes it as a "big deal".
"Sheffield is a fabulous city, I love it. I grew up in Doncaster so for me, coming home to South Yorkshire is something I've always wanted to do," she explains via a video call.
"I care about this part of the country, I want to play a role in making sure we have the brightest possible future for the people and for our place.
"It's funny because the only people who've said to me that it's a strange move are people from Sheffield so make of that what you will. I wouldn't have wanted to be a chief executive anywhere else, as much as it was about doing this role, it was also about how much I want to be part of the future for this city."
The pandemic is obviously all consuming but she's keen to look ahead to the future.
"I've been in the role five weeks, I'm still reflecting and I'm still listening. This is not about my detailed plan of action.
"We need to think about what Sheffield is going to need coming out of the pandemic and that's something we're not going to do on our own as a council.
"There's a feeling we're not punching our weight and we've got to fix that. It's about trying to be optimistic and hopeful, to be more ambitious and focus on the future rather than the past and the negative stories we tell ourselves.
"It's about creating the conditions, building the partnerships and kick-starting the conversations that get us into that mindset.”