Q&A with Kim Sawyer, Legal Counsel & Monitoring Officer
At the Combined Authority Board on 29th November 2017, it was confirmed that Kim Sawyer has joined the Combined Authority on a permanent bases as Legal Counsel & Monitoring Officer. We’ve sat down with Kim to find out more about her:
What did you do before becoming part of the CPCA?
I was the Director of Governance for Peterborough City Council responsible for legal services, democratic services, elections, Mayor’s and members’ support and human resources.
I was also the Council’s monitoring officer, senior legal advisor, information risk officer, Caldicott guardian and deputy returning officer, most of which are statutory designations which sat alongside my operational role.
What excites you about working for the Combined Authority?
It’s the challenge! Creation of new authorities is rare and this is not only a new authority, but its powers and functions are bespoke to our area and our Combined Authority. We are also operating on a regional basis with strong leadership under the Mayor. That gives a great sense of purpose and direction for the team. And what a great team we have.
One of my personal views is that you ‘recruit for attitude, train for skills’ because enthusiasm is a key factor for any team. This team has proved itself from the outset, from adapting to a dramatic change in our working conditions to being prepared to get involved with any area or task to ensure the job gets delivered. We have worked at a pace to challenge the status quo, we believe there is always a solution and from that, we have seen a great sense of achievement. I am, and I believe the whole team is optimistic about what we can achieve when we work with the new LEP.
What attracted you to the region?
I grew up in this area but returned here after university. I choose to work here because I am excited about the potential Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has. We are in one of the fastest growing areas in the country so we have to move quickly to enhance all that potential, as well as ensuring that we preserve all that is wonderful about our area. I think I am incredibly lucky to have this opportunity to be part of creating the future for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
What are your hobbies?
Hmmm…. hobbies implies enjoyment. I force myself to go running a few times a week, which feels great when you finish. I have recently started ballet classes and I am a manic podcast listener. We (husband, daughter and dog) always have cinema night at home on Friday evening and we spend time with friends and family every weekend. We go camping every year and I do spend two weeks each year coming from the campsite to work. It’s wonderful to watch the stars at night lying on the grass somewhere in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough after a day full of meetings.
Why did you decide to go into the legal profession?
Because it was a professional job, advertised locally, that didn’t involve numbers. I stayed in the profession because I had an amazing first manager. It’s so important to invest in people who want to invest in their success and the success of the business.
What CPCA development are you most excited about for the future?
Immediately, it’s the opportunities that will arise from working closely with the LEP. This is great opportunity to align our resources behind a single vision. It marks the start of an organisation that is only going to grow further and we need an authority to match the ambition of our area. Beyond that, it’s the new metro system for Cambridgeshire and the Peterborough University. Both of those have the opportunity to be groundbreaking and for us to be pioneers in those areas. Isn’t that great?