About us

We are Southwark

Just six miles long from the foot of the Shard to the deepest corner of Dulwich Woods, Southwark punches above its weight. Diverse and dynamic. Home to 92 parks and open spaces, 120 languages, and a thriving cultural scene, there’s really nowhere quite like it.

But while we are proud of who we are today, we’re also looking to the future. We have bold ambitions to create 5,000 new jobs, 2,000 new apprenticeships, and 11,000 new council homes. We’re leading an ambitious programme of regeneration that is transforming areas from Elephant and Castle to Canada Water to Peckham.

It’s not going to be easy, but with fresh thinking and the right partners, we’re streamlining, innovating and doing more for less. And we’re looking for leaders who relish the challenge. You’ll demand change and fairness for all, and demonstrate the tenacity to deliver them. And in return, you’ll be part of a legacy that will echo long into the future.

There are more than 290,000 residents in Southwark (and counting). They speak 120 languages and represent every continent around the globe. It’s that diversity of people that makes our borough so special and so vibrant. It’s the blend of voices, cultures and personalities that make Southwark, well, Southwark. And it’s why we treat everyone as an equal priority, whatever their background. We are working with local people, communities and businesses to innovate, improve and transform public services. This is the philosophy behind our vision: a fairer future for all.

Working with our development partners, we’re leading a £3 billion regeneration of Elephant and Castle, creating 5,000 new homes, 450,000 square feet of retail space, an integrated transport hub, green spaces and a state-of-the-art leisure centre.

The new sports facility, The Castle, will include a six-lane, 25 metre swimming pool, learner pool, four court sports hall, a gym, exercise studios, a crèche and a cafe.

Everything we do is underpinned by an all-inclusive modernisation agenda – transforming the way we provide a first-class business support service.

Elephant and Castle is just one of many areas under development.

In Aylesbury, we’ve delivered 261 new homes since 2010 and a further 147 are in development. Over the next 20 years, they’ll be joined by a further 4,000 new homes, half of which will be affordable housing, as well as new streets, squares and facilities.

It’s also an exciting time for Peckham and Nunhead. We’re leading the development of new schools, green spaces, homes and a community centre.

Over in Canada Water, we’re overseeing their evolution into a new waterside town centre, with a state-of-the-art library, 2,500 homes, 2,000 new jobs, community facilities and shops.

In Blackfriars, we recently opened the new Thameslink Station, soon to be enhanced with a nearby Tate extension. And we’re working with partners to deliver the Blackfriars Mile, a stretch of high quality public realm connecting the river with the Elephant and Castle.

Together with the Greater London Authority we are preparing a new plan for the Old Kent Road and surrounding area. The plan will guide and manage new development and growth in the area over the next 15 years.

Our cycling strategy, a commitment to invest over £30m in cycling over the next five years, has been awarded best cycling network strategy at the first ever Cycling Planning Awards.

We’re also building while others are closing – sadly, 337 libraries have closed in the UK over the last four years – but during this time, Southwark have invested £100 million in libraries and leisure since 2007 and continue to do so.

And there’s plenty more to come.

Over the next 30 years, we’re building 11,000 new council homes.

We’re rolling out an ethical care charter so that older people can live independent lives for longer.

With free gym access and more NHS health checks, we’re making good health care accessible to all.

And we’re doing much more besides.

Together, we will make our borough a place to be proud of.

We’ll build a fairer future for all.

And achieve our Fairer Future Commitments.

Our Values

Everything that we do as a council is to achieve our vision of a fairer future for all in Southwark. Our values inform how we will do this, and will guide our decisions and determine how we deliver on the commitments that we have made.

In 2010 we embarked on our fairer future for all programme. A decade later, some of the challenges have changed and some of the solutions have too, but our values remain the same. Our residents are still at the heart of everything we do and they have helped us form the values that underpin the work of the Council. Our values will continue to inform all the work we do across the Council and what you can expect from us.

We will:

  • treat residents as if they were a valued member of our own family

  • be open, honest and accountable

  • spend money as if it were from our own pocket

  • work for everyone to realise their own potential

  • make Southwark a place to be proud of

  • work to make Southwark more equal and just

  • stand against all forms of discrimination and racism

Our Commitments

Guided by our values, and shaped by our context, the Council Plan presents a set of commitments, which will help us achieve our vision of a fairer future for all. The refreshed Council Plan sets out these commitments across six themes:

• A place to call home

• Climate Emergency

• A green and fair economic renewal

• Tackling health inequalities

• A great start in life

• Southwark Together

Alongside this ambition, we will continue to make sure that we get the basics right, so that you can be confident that the day to day services the Council provides are the best they can be and deliver what you and your family need.

Celebrating success: Our Contact Centre awarded for Customer Service Excellence

Our Contact Centre has been awarded with the Customer Service Excellence accreditation for the fourth year running demonstrating significant improvement year on year.

The Customer Excellence Standard accreditation is regulated by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). Formal assessments for Customer Service Excellence award are carried out by licensed bodies with a particular focus on delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude.

Emphasis is also placed on developing customer insight, understanding the user’s experience and robust measurement of service satisfaction.

The Contact Centre demonstrated exceptional service in all areas including:

Customer insights – Calls were listened to from across the contact centre and the accreditors were impressed with the way our staff were able to effectively identify our customers, support and consult with them in meaningful ways to improve services.

Putting the customer at the centre of everything we do – the assessors were particularly impressed with the council response and the actions taken by the contact centre to support residents during the current COVID-19 crisis. We maintained essential services while implementing new IT tools and new ways of working and setting up new services (the COVID-19 line and shielded/welfare calls).

The assessors concluded that:

“There are several examples of the contact centres strong partnership working which have demonstrable benefits to customers”.

The contact centre was commended for “taking the calls for the Temporary Accommodation & Extra Care Team, reducing their complaints and improving satisfaction with the Council service and overall customer experience”.

The development of the partnership with neighbouring Lambeth Council has worked to deliver their SMART call service.

Those interviewed regarding the service being delivered on their behalf fed back that although they had been aware of the contact centre, until their engagement on specific projects, they had no idea of the value the Contact Centre could bring to their service offer.

Areas of improvement identified included the need to raise awareness of the Contact Centre service across the council to encourage more services to utilise them.


For further information about the council, please visit:  https://jobs.theguardian.com/minisites/southwark-council/