Profile: Ian Wilson

Profile: Ian Wilson

Ian Wilson is the corporate director, social services, and deputy chief executive at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

How long in the job? Eight years.

Best training ever done: Institute of Management negotiating skills and courses. They encourage you to practise by applying your newly acquired skills wherever you are, so that when you are negotiating for real at work, you are always the most experienced negotiator. My children report cringe-making negotiating of discounts in restaurants throughout their childhood.

Career lowpoint: Being made redundant, along with 19 other managers, from the London Borough of Hackney in 1997. I am glad Hackney is now recovering from that period of madness.

Career highlight: My current job became available at exactly the same time, which was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Tower Hamlets is the most exciting place to work in local government in Britain and every day I feel fortunate to be here. 

Me and my career: There is not a single day here when I am not conscious of the enormity of the challenge, but also of the excellent resources the council provides and the completely reasonable aspiration that the poorest people in Britain are also those most entitled to the most brilliant social care services

On the recently announced scoring systems from both the Commission for Social Care Inspection and Ofsted, we are the only authority in the country to get the maximum scores on every count both for social care services and those combined with other children’s services. I guess the message is that if you are determined enough you can set your sights higher than anyone else’s and achieve it. 

1997- now Corporate director of social services and deputy chief executive, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
1995-7 Director of environmental services, London Borough of Hackney
1991-5 Deputy director of social services, Hackney
1988-1991 Assistant chief social services officer, London Borough of Bexley
1975- 1998 Various social worker, team management and middle management jobs. First job in local government was boarding out officer for elderly people, East Sussex Council, in 1975.

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