Bala Mahendran is Chief Executive of Basildon Council, an engineer by profession. Focusing on a leadership of hope during hugely challenging financial circumstances, Bala is implementing a programme of transformational change. Services are being redesigned, new partnerships with the community are being forged and commercial opportunities are being exploited. All with the clear purpose of creating opportunities and improving lives of the people who live in Basildon. Basildon has a strong economy with specialisms in engineering and advanced manufacturing and under Bala’s leadership the council is pursuing an agenda for inclusive economic growth that has seen innovative regional, national and international partnerships.