Non-job of the week
Aug 2011 24

It may be the silly season, but this hasn’t stopped councils advertising more non-jobs, and this week is an ‘Oxford City Council Free-Zone.’ Our starter for ten is a Change Manager at Surrey County Council, paying £36,615 per annum. The council is looking ‘for a well-organised, motivated and adaptable individual with experience of project and programme management and strong communication skills to help ensure the delivery of the Council’s Fit for the Future Change Programme.’ Is this an admission that they aren’t fit for the present?

As we know from previous ‘non job of the week’ posts, Surrey is far from the only council appointing more managers to manage change, and even the House of Commons is getting in on the act! It is looking for a Director of Change on £58,200-£93,380 per annum.

If improvement and transformation is your business, then look no further than Dacorum Borough Council, who is searching for two Improvement and Transformation Officers. Gloucester City Council is also looking for two Business Improvement Officers. If you are unsure this is the job for you, here are some handy questions on the job description. Do you tick the boxes?

Do you want to be at the heart of change? Are you motivated and enthusiastic? Do you want to change the way we deliver services to Customers? Then this role is for you!

There can only be one winner (unless I change the rules) and this must go to Cornwall County Council. It has been reported in the media that the council is searching for a Project Officer – Olympic Torch Relay. The successful applicant will be responsible for the safe movement of the Olympic Torch from Land’s End to the Tamar Bridge, when it will enter Devon. It is estimated it will take 12 hours to complete the 84-mile route.

Our Campaign Director, Emma Boon, was interviewed about this on Pirate FM, and our Campaign Manager, Robert Oxley, had this to say in the Daily Mail:

‘Local taxpayers will be staggered that Cornwall Council plans to spend so much of their money needlessly planning for one part of one day of the Olympics.

‘Existing members of staff at the council should have been able to deliver an excellent day for the torch’s visit, it’s not much extra work.

‘Times are tough for many families and they expect their council to try to make savings, not needlessly recruit extra employees.’

As the route for the Olympic Torch is going to wind its way around most of the UK, how many other councils are going to employ someone to meet and greet it, and then wish it bon voyage? If you have seen similar advertisements on your council’s website, please let us know.


Andrew was the TPA's National Grassroots Coordinator

  • Numenius

     For the “Change Manager”, type post, you usually find the appointees come from within – that was my own experience in working for a large Police force – whenever we had posts for senior support staff  created such as “Risk Manager” or “Change Manager” (i,e jobs that any normal manager does within his or her own role in the real world) invariably it just so happened that one of the favourite “in” people at HQ would amazingly get the job. It would never be someone from an operational background (God forbid it would be someone who knew about working with real police officers or the public or knew about the real front line things needed -  they might rock the boat by focussing on reality -  hence why all the real workers  & real cops called HQ “Fantasy Island” ) and often you’d find the job  desciption and applicant requirements mirrored a specific person! Funny that!   

  • Peterdmorford

    Five years and God knows how many billions all for a week of Olympic athleticism. What a farce!  As most professional sport is a mixture of corruption, drug-enhancement and dodgy financing it would be a miracle if local councils didn’t get on the act.
    It’s all bad for my blood pressure.

  • Davefahey

    Funny you should say that, Numenius. I was on a shortlist for a council job in North Wales, my competitors were a fellow industry member and a council employee from an adjacent borough, the latter with no relevant experience. Three guesses who got the job…

  • Doug

    It seems to me that as we pay senior public sector managers more to do their job, they seem to be saying that there are those aspects of their job that they are not capable of doing.

    Let the government impose a tight control on the management costs of all public sector services. 10% of the budget and no more.


  • Bri

    ‘….. help ensure the delivery of the Council’s Fit for the Future Change Programme.’ Is this an admission that they aren’t fit for the present? ’. No. Presumably it would be called ‘Fit for the Present Change Programme’ if it was. Goodness me, a council appointing someone to manage change for the future. And paying them a salary! You’d never find a private company doing such a thing. Planning for the future. Disgraceful.