Your stories – Zoe Punchard

Zoe Punchard 
Business Development Manager 

How long have you worked for the council?   

33 years (but a total of 35 years at Leisure World/Colchester Sports Centre). 

Why did you choose to work for the council?   

My role transferred from the private company that operated Colchester Sports Centre on behalf of the council from 1989 to 1991. The council took back management control in 1991 having previously managed it from when it was first build in the early 70’s until 1989. 

Describe what you do in 100 words

I oversee the financial performance, reporting and forecasting on all areas of Sport and Leisure. I manage a small digital team where my role includes the development of our leisure management software and systems to ensure they run smoothly and deliver efficient digital customer journeys. Part of that role means I am the lead for our Sport and Leisure GDPR (data protection) and business compliance. And lastly, I am part of the management team that provides strategic and operational leadership with key focus on commercial and customer objectives. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?   

Problem solving – from simply resolving financial reconciliation errors to finding and implementing suitable innovative solutions to meet customer and staff demands/needs. 

Throughout your career at the council, what has been your most rewarding moment?    

Nothing specific, but I enjoy my job and find it generally rewarding in terms of mental stimulation and sense of achievement. 

What would you say to someone thinking about a career at the council?  

Go for it, Colchester City Council are a good employer with some great staff benefits which you do not get in the private sector, not least the pension scheme – although it may not seem important to those at the start of their career, I am now feeling thankful that I have a long-service with the council as I move nearer to retirement (not quite there yet though). 

That aside, working for Sport and Leisure has been a great experience. Having worked at Leisure World since 1989, although I have seen lots of changes, I am pleased to have worked alongside some of my lovely team colleagues for 25+ years of service. 

Describe the council in one word.   


Page last reviewed: 15 May 2024


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