Leaders in Conversation with Anni Townend

Anni Townend in Conversation with Andrew Kerr, Chief Executive at City of Edinburgh Council

April 07, 2021 Andrew Kerr
Leaders in Conversation with Anni Townend
Anni Townend in Conversation with Andrew Kerr, Chief Executive at City of Edinburgh Council
Show Notes

Ahead of the Scottish Parliaments elections on 06 May, Anni talks to Andrew Kerr, Chief Executive of The City of Edinburgh Council.

This episode is packed with discussions as Andrew talks openly about everything from leading through a pandemic to the importance of family, community and working as a team. He also reveals his career inspirations and how an ex-miner from Ayrshire helped him to become the proud senior leader he is today, working in his dream job. 

Despite his prominent position in the council, Andrew was not always in the public sector. Following school, he worked as a professional athlete, representing Scotland and the UK in the 400m races. However, he knew athletics was a career with a limited time span and stepped into his first public service role as Manager at Grangemouth Stadium, Falkirk

 “In lots of ways it was opportunistic, but I realised early on that I enjoy the community part of being a public servant. And I've been there ever since,” he confirms.

With a passion for contributing in the community, Andrew has gone on to nurture a 35 year (and counting) career as a public servant. He has worked in positions across England, Wales and now in the City of Edinburgh Council where he was named Chief Executive in 2015.

 Listen to this Leaders in Conversation Podcast to discover:

  •  Andrew’s early influencers and inspirations including the benefit of growing up in a supportive family that encouraged his passions like poetry writing, the flute and athletics
  • How his running coach was a role model throughout life, providing a huge source of inspiration and shaping his approach to both personal development and senior leadership
  • Why conquering his nerves in the stadium was an invaluable lesson in how to be a confident leader and to stay focused on the task in hand 
  • How staying active and learning to practice  mindfulness became a useful tool in prioritising what’s important in order to stay focused, achieve more and deliver more
  • The importance of teams both professionally and personally and supporting one another at all time
  • The process behind shaping and defining values and putting them into practice 

 Andrew also talks about leading through a pandemic and how it allowed him to deliver on his core value of helping the community. He honours those whose lives have been lost and pays tribute to the civil servants like teachers, janitors and bin collectors who have kept the UK going “without demand for extra overtime or extra anything, because they knew that we're doing good things for the community”. 

Finally, Andrew reveals his vision and ambitions for Edinburgh and Scotland and why “community wellness” is at the heart of The City of Edinburgh Council’s business plan. He talks about what the roadmap looks like, from collaboration with local partners to setting carbon targets and more.

Discover more
To find out more about The City of Edinburgh Councils including the strategy and plans visit edinburgh.gov.uk