Non-job of the week

April 14, 2011 12:30 PM

Would you like to be paid to have fun? This is not me asking, rather Bracknell Forest Council who are advertising for a Support Play Ranger. According to the advert:
Bracknell Forest Council delivers an exciting Play Ranger Project that offers free open access play opportunities to children and young people in play areas, open spaces and in schools across the Borough. As a Support Play Ranger you will work alongside our Lead Ranger to deliver this service, while raising the profile of play through positive role modelling and by example.

The job is temporary until February 2012, with potential to extend dependent on funding. At a time when councils and government are reducing funding, isn't this something that should go? Children will still have access to play areas whether there is a play ranger present or not, and they can still kick a football around in the aforementioned open spaces and playing fields. At £14,400 - £17,500, the salary isn't high, but this cannot be described as an essential job.

On Monday, Tim Newark told us how Somerset Waste Partnership is going to charge an entry fee of between £1.20 - £2 for every visit to a recycling dump. We were promptly contacted by the Senior Communications Officer to inform us that this figure was wrong. He said:
14 Recycling Centres in Somerset are free to enter. Four additional Community Recycling Centres have entry fees.

The entry fees were suggested by local people and their representatives as an alternative to closing the four sites after a £1.9million funding reduction over two years from Somerset County Council.

As Tim said though:
To get around the statutory prohibition on such charges, they have re-designated the recycling centres as ‘non-statutory (discretionary) sites’ to be termed ‘Community Recycling Sites’.

Another example of taxation through the back door!

The existence of a Senior Communications Officer suggests there are more communications officers. How many are there and what are they trying to communicate? We know when our bins are due to be emptied.We know what we can and cannot recycle. We know what is supposed to be placed in which bin but thankfully, if we make an error, the bin police will soon be a thing of the past. We know where our recycling centres are. All we have to do is check on the Internet or look in the phone book to find out if we don't.

Somerset Waste Partnership's website states you can sign-up to a bi-monthly e-mail news bulletin. I don't have or need an e-bulletin where I live and, amazingly, I still manage to put my bins out on the correct day. Garden waste goes into a brown bin; all other recycling waste goes into a blue bin; and the rest goes into a black bin, so it's not too difficult to work out what to do. In Somerset, you have to sort your waste into many different boxes for kerbside collection, so maybe if the system was easier, there wouldn't be a need for an e-bulletin?

Somerset Waste is answerable to a committee of councillors covering the various authorities it acts for. This is called the Somerset Waste Board. Any queries about its services could be easily dealt with by existing council call centres. If  this mini-Quango wants to save some cash, instead of charging people to dump their rubbish, why not trim down the communications team, starting with the Senior Communication Officer? I'm sure residents could easily live without him!Would you like to be paid to have fun? This is not me asking, rather Bracknell Forest Council who are advertising for a Support Play Ranger. According to the advert:
Bracknell Forest Council delivers an exciting Play Ranger Project that offers free open access play opportunities to children and young people in play areas, open spaces and in schools across the Borough. As a Support Play Ranger you will work alongside our Lead Ranger to deliver this service, while raising the profile of play through positive role modelling and by example.

The job is temporary until February 2012, with potential to extend dependent on funding. At a time when councils and government are reducing funding, isn't this something that should go? Children will still have access to play areas whether there is a play ranger present or not, and they can still kick a football around in the aforementioned open spaces and playing fields. At £14,400 - £17,500, the salary isn't high, but this cannot be described as an essential job.

On Monday, Tim Newark told us how Somerset Waste Partnership is going to charge an entry fee of between £1.20 - £2 for every visit to a recycling dump. We were promptly contacted by the Senior Communications Officer to inform us that this figure was wrong. He said:
14 Recycling Centres in Somerset are free to enter. Four additional Community Recycling Centres have entry fees.

The entry fees were suggested by local people and their representatives as an alternative to closing the four sites after a £1.9million funding reduction over two years from Somerset County Council.

As Tim said though:
To get around the statutory prohibition on such charges, they have re-designated the recycling centres as ‘non-statutory (discretionary) sites’ to be termed ‘Community Recycling Sites’.

Another example of taxation through the back door!

The existence of a Senior Communications Officer suggests there are more communications officers. How many are there and what are they trying to communicate? We know when our bins are due to be emptied.We know what we can and cannot recycle. We know what is supposed to be placed in which bin but thankfully, if we make an error, the bin police will soon be a thing of the past. We know where our recycling centres are. All we have to do is check on the Internet or look in the phone book to find out if we don't.

Somerset Waste Partnership's website states you can sign-up to a bi-monthly e-mail news bulletin. I don't have or need an e-bulletin where I live and, amazingly, I still manage to put my bins out on the correct day. Garden waste goes into a brown bin; all other recycling waste goes into a blue bin; and the rest goes into a black bin, so it's not too difficult to work out what to do. In Somerset, you have to sort your waste into many different boxes for kerbside collection, so maybe if the system was easier, there wouldn't be a need for an e-bulletin?

Somerset Waste is answerable to a committee of councillors covering the various authorities it acts for. This is called the Somerset Waste Board. Any queries about its services could be easily dealt with by existing council call centres. If  this mini-Quango wants to save some cash, instead of charging people to dump their rubbish, why not trim down the communications team, starting with the Senior Communication Officer? I'm sure residents could easily live without him!

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