Surrey County Council

Working for Surrey means making a practical and positive difference to the lives of people living and working in the county

Living and working in Surrey

Just a short distance from London but a million miles from the capital’s hustle and bustle, Surrey is a beautiful county nestled in the south-east of England and a great place to work and live. With access to major arterial road routes (including the M25, M3 and M23), frequent rail services to central London and close proximity to Heathrow and Gatwick airports, Surrey is easily accessible. The rolling hills, market towns and excellent attractions mean there is plenty to see and do. There’s an activity to suit every age from museums and gardens to high octane trips to theme parks, race tracks and treetop obstacle courses. Or you can explore the most wooded county in England on some of the most extensive footpath networks in the country.

For road cyclists, the 2012 Olympic Cycle route up Box Hill is a must, and has helped make Surrey a key destination for the sport, with the Prudential Ride London taking place here every year.

We’re a significant, well-regarded and ambitious county council, with four main area offices in some of our largest towns: Leatherhead, Redhill, Woking, and Guildford.

Take a look at our virtual tours of our main offices in Kingston, Leatherhead, Redhill, Woking and Guildford.

Values and behaviours

Our values are what support our vision, shape the culture and are crucial in delivering our corporate strategy. When shortlisting applicants, in addition to ensuring you have the right skills, we also look at how your values are aligned to our values, and how you are able to make a positive difference for Surrey residents.

The values we follow are:

Listen – We actively listen to others and expect to be listened to

Responsibility – We take responsibility in all that we do at work

Trust – We work to inspire trust, whilst trusting in others

Respect – We are supportive, inclusive and committed to learning from others

A strong work ethic, and a positive attitude towards the job can carry you a long way. Our behaviours are what makes us stand out as an organisation, and we would expect anyone looking to work with Surrey County Council to uphold and adapt such behaviours.

Behaviours we promote within the organisation are:

Be customer focussed – We put the customer at the heart of our work and take responsibility to uphold the customer promise in all that we do.

Work as one team We collaborate with and involve our partners, customers and colleagues to build strong and long lasting relationships based on listening, trust and mutual respect.

Make things happen – We plan and deliver our work on time and effectively, making sure we understand the needs and priorities whilst considering all of our options.

Communicate with purpose – We communicate clearly to all of our stakeholders, making sure that we listen, understand and inform in the process.

Be the best we can be – We embrace the need for change and innovation, taking responsibility to improve our services and processes in the right way.

Develop ourselves and others – We learn continually, we seek feedback about our own performance and support others to learn.

Our Benefits

There are hundreds of discounts and offers for you and your family from food and retail shopping, days out, cashback, holidays, weekends away, theatre and cinema offers and much more.

Information on the full range of staff benefits available can be found below:

Tax efficient Salary Sacrifice Schemes

Lease car scheme drive away a brand new ultra low emission’ car for a two or three year period, with flexible mileage options at a fixed monthly cost to suit your budget with no deposit, credit checks or upfront costs required.<

Childcare vouchers – log in via Surrey Extra to the ‘Childcareplus’ tax free childcare and kids clubs’ tab.
Join today as the current employer-led scheme will be closed to new entrants when the Government introduce the new tax-free childcare scheme next year. If you have childcare vouchers and need to change the amount or cancel them, read our frequently asked questions on the MyBenefits landing page www.surreycc.gov.uk/mybenefits.

Cycle to Work scheme – log in via Surrey Extra and click on ‘tax free cycle scheme’ or ‘Halfords Cycle2Work Scheme’ tab.

Health and Wellbeing Benefits

The full range of Health and Wellbeing benefits are detailed below

  • AXA PPP Business Express Plan
  • Mercer private medical insurance broker
  • Benenden Health
  • Health Assessments – self pay scheme
  • Simplyhealth Healthcare Cash Plan
  • Cancer Cover
  • Bupa Dental Plans
  • Personal Accident Plan
  • Free Eye Tests
  • Gym and Health Club Membership

Family and Lifestyle discounts
Through Surrey Extra you can access thousands of discounts and special offers for you and your family on everyday shopping with shopping cards and vouchers for Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Wilko, Boots, Primark and many more high street retailers. Plus cashback, voucher codes, Spree Card, cinema tickets and theatre tokens, holiday offers and weekends away, plus lots more!

Corporate and Local Offers

Here are some of the Corporate and Local Offers available:

  • Local Gym and Health Club Membership
  • Lenovo computer software offer
  • Health and Beauty offers
  • Costco wholesale membership at £33.60 (including VAT) per annum. This includes a complimentary spouse card.
  • Microsoft home user programme for £9.95!

Case Study:

Surrey County Council in partnership with HCT are looking for Training Support Workers to provide this kind of service that makes a difference.

Robert’s storyRobert - Surrey County Council

Robert is a 16-year old with a learning disability who has recently successfully undertaken travel training with HCT Group in Camden as part of our work with Camden Council.

Prior to receiving his training, Robert used to take a specialist SEN bus to school. After a period of 7 weeks of one-to-one training and shadowing, Robert is now able to travel independently.

In addition to being able to travel to school independently, Robert has described a number of positive outcomes as a result of his new-found independence. These include including being able to cope with travelling in crowds, knowing how to get himself to places and being able to leave later as his journey doesn’t take as long.

He was particularly proud of route planning a journey on a day when the tubes and buses weren’t running, without needing to ask for help. Robert says that he now feels more connected to his community ‘I say good morning to my neighbours and they say it back, which I like, because they see me every day. I enjoy having a talk and passing the time of day with the train staff in the morning and afternoon.’

Robert’s parents are pleased with the results too, reporting that he is ‘less anxious and less tired from being on the bus so long’. They also felt he was ‘more chatty, and confident in himself’.

Robert’s advice for others considering travel training is ‘give it a go, it’s a good idea and better than being on the school bus!’

Independent travel training has unlocked not just the journey to school, but Robert’s sense of place in his community, his self-confidence and independence – a real social impact.

Paula-Hartwell Surrey County CouncilPaula Hartwell

Paula Hartwell left college without much idea of what she wanted to do. “I knew I wanted to be active and that I didn’t fancy sitting behind a desk all day. I liked being in the community and I liked working in a team. I saw an advert in the local press for the fire service and went along,” she says.

Twenty six years later she is now an assistant group commander in the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, having become the first woman fire fighter in Surrey. In that time she has also had three daughters.

After applying for the fire fighter job in 1992, Paula was invited to a two-day assessment which included several mental and physical aptitude tests. This was followed by an interview and a training course once she was accepted. It had not occurred to her when she applied that she might be very much in the minority as a woman in the fire service.

Paula says she had a lot of encouragement from the other male trainees. “Everyone really gets behind each other,” she says. “The training does push you to your limits. It is not supposed to be easy, but to bring out the best in you. The assessment tests spot potential rather than the finished product and that potential is honed in the training process.”
Asked what makes a great fire fighter, Paula says applicants need to like a challenge, be a people person, enjoy being a valued member of the community and not be afraid of having a voice and taking on something they have never done before. They have to be fit, but the service has good training facilities and the focus on fitness establishes healthy habits for life, she says. She thinks a fear of failure is the biggest barrier facing women, but stereotypes about firefighting being a male job and not being family friendly are also a factor. “Women can be reluctant to give it a go, but just taking that first step is important. Taster days are a great way to do that,” she says.

Both Paula and her husband are fire fighters. They met through work and have been together for 20 years. The couple have three daughters, aged 20, 17 and 12, and Paula feels her job and the fact that she and her husband share domestic tasks mean that their children do not believe there are jobs that girls cannot do.
She says that far from the stereotype, fire fighting is family friendly. “It is a really great job for working mums. There is very good support for maternity leave and time off for dependants,” she states.
When she announced her pregnancy each time, Paula was moved away from operational duties to focus on other work, such as prevention or fire safety. After each maternity leave, she was helped by occupational health to regain her physical fitness. 

The service also offers flexible working, including the potential for job shares, reduced hours contracts and day shifts. “It is more flexible than it has ever been,” says Paula.
Paula, who is 46, has steadily climbed the career ladder over the last 26 years.

Read full article here