Non-job of the week

February 22, 2012 2:28 PM

Last year I commented regularly on the amount of improvement managers and officers Oxford City Council was advertising for. The council has previously advertised for a Business Improvement Manager, a Performance Improvement Manager and a Business Improvement Manager (both twice), and a Business Improvement Partner. It is now advertising for a Business Improvement Officer. This is a permanent, full-time position, paying between £25,472 - £28,636. 

It will be interesting to find out how much money the council has spent on this new mini-department, and how successful it has been. How much of the work of the new officers and managers could and should have been done by existing well paid staff?

Elmbridge Borough Council is looking for a Recycling Advisor. The salary is modest and it's only for a four-month fixed contract, however why does the council need to employ someone to knock on doors offering recycling advise? When my council rolled out a new recycling scheme a couple of years ago, all residents were informed of what they could and could not recycle. Since then recycling rates have increased.

In many ways I have sympathy with councils. The more they put into landfill, the more we have to pay in landfill tax. The former leader of my council told me when it comes to recycling his only interest is to reduce the amount paid in landfill tax in order to keep council tax bills down. It's very difficult to argue with that statement.

I have two issues with Elmbridge. The first is if they had informed residents properly in the first place, they wouldn't have to employ someone to knock on doors. In this instance it would have saved a salary of around £5K. That doesn't sound a lot, but as we know, a few thousand here and a few thousand there starts adding up to sizeable sums of money.

The second problem I have is although I accept councils want to reduce the amount of landfill tax that is paid, knocking on people's doors is not a cost effective method of communication. It also smacks of the nanny state.

Give residents choices by all means, but we don't pay our council tax to be lectured on our doorsteps.Last year I commented regularly on the amount of improvement managers and officers Oxford City Council was advertising for. The council has previously advertised for a Business Improvement Manager, a Performance Improvement Manager and a Business Improvement Manager (both twice), and a Business Improvement Partner. It is now advertising for a Business Improvement Officer. This is a permanent, full-time position, paying between £25,472 - £28,636. 

It will be interesting to find out how much money the council has spent on this new mini-department, and how successful it has been. How much of the work of the new officers and managers could and should have been done by existing well paid staff?

Elmbridge Borough Council is looking for a Recycling Advisor. The salary is modest and it's only for a four-month fixed contract, however why does the council need to employ someone to knock on doors offering recycling advise? When my council rolled out a new recycling scheme a couple of years ago, all residents were informed of what they could and could not recycle. Since then recycling rates have increased.

In many ways I have sympathy with councils. The more they put into landfill, the more we have to pay in landfill tax. The former leader of my council told me when it comes to recycling his only interest is to reduce the amount paid in landfill tax in order to keep council tax bills down. It's very difficult to argue with that statement.

I have two issues with Elmbridge. The first is if they had informed residents properly in the first place, they wouldn't have to employ someone to knock on doors. In this instance it would have saved a salary of around £5K. That doesn't sound a lot, but as we know, a few thousand here and a few thousand there starts adding up to sizeable sums of money.

The second problem I have is although I accept councils want to reduce the amount of landfill tax that is paid, knocking on people's doors is not a cost effective method of communication. It also smacks of the nanny state.

Give residents choices by all means, but we don't pay our council tax to be lectured on our doorsteps.

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