Just when we might reasonably assume our local authorities are starting to take a pragmatic look at recruitment in light of the financial woes that have led to redundancies up and down the country, we take a look at the Guardian jobs pages and realise that some are carrying on as though they have access to a bottomless money-pot.
The authority advertising for this week’s non-job has had the forethought to remain anonymous, which may well be a wise move that avoids them having to hire another media officer to deal with the backlash. Instead, recruitment agency Morgan Hunt merely inform us that a large local authority in central London is hiring for a:
“Noise Pollution Officer
£15 - £20 per hour
Morgan Hunt is currently looking to recruit an experienced Noise Pollution Officer to work in a temporary assignment for a Large Local Authority within Central London. This role is to start ASAP and is initially expected to last around 6 months.
The client is looking to recruit someone who has previous experience of this role within a Local Authority setting and therefore if you do not have this experience please do not apply.
The primary aim of this Council's Noise Patrol is to respond to complaints of noise and light pollution within the borough. Candidates will need to have strong IT and communication skills and be able to work under pressure.
The main duties of this post will be:
(1) Investigating complaints relating to noise pollution
(2) Serving relevant notices to offenders
(3) Preparing witness statements and attending court
The client has also stated that candidates will need to hold an appropriate recognised pollution-related qualification (e.g. degree or diploma Environmental Science, Chemistry or Diploma in Pollution Control) or an loA Diploma in Acoustics.”
If you’re a Noise Pollution Officer, then presumably you’ve never worked and would never even hope to work outside the public sector – so would it be a fair assertion that the requirement that the candidate has ‘experience of this role within a Local Authority setting’ sort of goes without saying… (at least that’s what a little googling around would lead one to believe)? These are, necessarily, taxpayer-funded creatures and the successful applicant in this case will presumably hope to shuffle on to the next local council once the six months are up. And at approximately £40,000pa pro rata, who can blame them for getting involved in this little niche market?
And who’d have guessed that there would ever be such a thing as a dedicated ‘Noise Patrol’, on hand at all times to react to noise-related complaints? Who did this job before? The community? The police? Surely we’ve now enough wardens and support officers to cover this esoteric area without creating yet another patrol?
But no prizes for guessing why they’ve been dreamt up. Point (3) happily indicates the main motivation for creating such a noise squad – fixed penalty notices.
With a nation up-in-arms at the stripping back of their essential frontline services, it’s important the public know that should they choose to rattle their pots or bang their drums in anger and frustration then they may well find the local Noise Patrol on their doorstep - created, paid and kitted out using their tax pounds. It’s one way to silence the critics.