Non-job of the week

November 23, 2011 4:09 PM

Lewes District Council is looking to employ an Equalities Officer whilst the existing officer is on maternity leave. According to the job advert "this post co-ordinates the development of our Equalities work, Impact Assessments and equalities policies. It identifies and introduces practical steps and monitors our success so we make continuous progress with our equality duties."

It is - and has been for many years - illegal to discriminate on the grounds of religion, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, etc. Why does Lewes Council need to employ someone to monitor its success in order to make continuous progress with its equality duties? Legislation does change, but not to the extent that you need a full-time officer monitoring those changes.  

Non-Job of the WeekLambeth Borough Council is searching for an Energy Strategy Officer on £32532 - £35055. Perhaps if it installed smart meters in all council premises it would see consumption fall and benefit from lower bills? Not that the installation of smart meters is as easy as you would think. Well, maybe to you and I it is, but not for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

It is looking for a Stakeholder Engagement Manager - Smart Meters Programme, paying £46,975 - £56,597 per annum. Here's part of the job description:

As our Stakeholder Engagement Manager, you will be responsible for planning and overseeing the programme’s engagement with the organisations outside the smart meters programme who need to be involved in the successful delivery of the programme and its benefits. These include energy suppliers and other industry players together with consumer representatives. You will need to work closely with colleagues across the programme who are dealing with these groups day-to-day through a range of working groups and bi-laterals Your challenge is to ensure that we have the right arrangements in place to capture and share feedback and to ensure consistent messages are being conveyed by the programme.


In addition, there is a need to maintain communications with a much wider group of stakeholders including MPs and Local Government, community groups and special interest groups who all need to be kept aware of developments and can help promote consumer awareness. You will also play a key role in driving forward the communications strategy for the programme, working with the energy industry to develop key messages and communication approaches and providing the main interface from the programme into DECC’s press office. You will be part of the Consumer Engagement, Roll-out and Benefits team within the programme which is headed by the Deputy Programme Director and you will be expected to be flexible and able to contribute to current priorities within the wider team.


Smart meters are an excellent way to help us reduce our bills. As I've said before, you can watch in real time which appliances use the most electricity. It's not complicated, but the DECC seems to have set-up a mini-department to promote something energy companies could do every time they send us a bill!

Finally, when it comes to waste, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) certainly does it in style. They spent nearly £70 million making nearly 1800 people redundant. I don't know how generous those payments were, however I do know there are times when you have to take a short term hit for a long term gain. Defra says it can recoup this money in a year. So far, so good then, but it was also revealed whilst making 1800 people redundant, at the same time it was recruiting another 500 staff. You would have thought common sense would prevail and the department would assess its needs before it let staff go. Many of those who received redundancy payments could have moved to those new jobs, thus saving taxpayers money.

Please remember we pay some senior civil servants and council officers six-figure salaries because (we are told) we need the best, and if we didn't pay them as handsomely, they would quit public service and move to the private sector. This rarely happens, and it is examples like this that prove why.Lewes District Council is looking to employ an Equalities Officer whilst the existing officer is on maternity leave. According to the job advert "this post co-ordinates the development of our Equalities work, Impact Assessments and equalities policies. It identifies and introduces practical steps and monitors our success so we make continuous progress with our equality duties."

It is - and has been for many years - illegal to discriminate on the grounds of religion, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, etc. Why does Lewes Council need to employ someone to monitor its success in order to make continuous progress with its equality duties? Legislation does change, but not to the extent that you need a full-time officer monitoring those changes.  

Non-Job of the WeekLambeth Borough Council is searching for an Energy Strategy Officer on £32532 - £35055. Perhaps if it installed smart meters in all council premises it would see consumption fall and benefit from lower bills? Not that the installation of smart meters is as easy as you would think. Well, maybe to you and I it is, but not for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

It is looking for a Stakeholder Engagement Manager - Smart Meters Programme, paying £46,975 - £56,597 per annum. Here's part of the job description:

As our Stakeholder Engagement Manager, you will be responsible for planning and overseeing the programme’s engagement with the organisations outside the smart meters programme who need to be involved in the successful delivery of the programme and its benefits. These include energy suppliers and other industry players together with consumer representatives. You will need to work closely with colleagues across the programme who are dealing with these groups day-to-day through a range of working groups and bi-laterals Your challenge is to ensure that we have the right arrangements in place to capture and share feedback and to ensure consistent messages are being conveyed by the programme.


In addition, there is a need to maintain communications with a much wider group of stakeholders including MPs and Local Government, community groups and special interest groups who all need to be kept aware of developments and can help promote consumer awareness. You will also play a key role in driving forward the communications strategy for the programme, working with the energy industry to develop key messages and communication approaches and providing the main interface from the programme into DECC’s press office. You will be part of the Consumer Engagement, Roll-out and Benefits team within the programme which is headed by the Deputy Programme Director and you will be expected to be flexible and able to contribute to current priorities within the wider team.


Smart meters are an excellent way to help us reduce our bills. As I've said before, you can watch in real time which appliances use the most electricity. It's not complicated, but the DECC seems to have set-up a mini-department to promote something energy companies could do every time they send us a bill!

Finally, when it comes to waste, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) certainly does it in style. They spent nearly £70 million making nearly 1800 people redundant. I don't know how generous those payments were, however I do know there are times when you have to take a short term hit for a long term gain. Defra says it can recoup this money in a year. So far, so good then, but it was also revealed whilst making 1800 people redundant, at the same time it was recruiting another 500 staff. You would have thought common sense would prevail and the department would assess its needs before it let staff go. Many of those who received redundancy payments could have moved to those new jobs, thus saving taxpayers money.

Please remember we pay some senior civil servants and council officers six-figure salaries because (we are told) we need the best, and if we didn't pay them as handsomely, they would quit public service and move to the private sector. This rarely happens, and it is examples like this that prove why.

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