Non-job of the week

Great to see your suggestions for non-jobs tumbling in and it’s fair to say that some have been real eye-openers. Perhaps the most ridiculous have come under the touchy-feely ‘community leader’ type category that we often focus in on as being needless and costly.


The worst of these must be the advertisement for a ‘Head of Neighbourhoods and CommunityNj17 Engagement’ with a whopping salary of up to £74k at Calderdale Council. The description contains all the usual buzzwords we’ve come to recognise and proclaims, “You will be the lead officer for engagement, cohesion, community safety, equalities and relationships with the third sector”


As far as the Guardian jobsite is concerned, this week we’ve seen a step-up in the number of marketing and communications jobs on offer within the public sector and two take the biscuit purely due to the level of cash on offer. Birmingham City Council got in deep water for hiring in a media consultant on £800 per day recently but it doesn’t seem to have deterred ‘an (anonymous) industry regulator’ who’re after a Principle Communications Consultant on £500-£550 per day, and nor has it put-off this week’s non-job winner – an unnamed North London local authority who are willing to shell out a princely sum for ‘an initial period of 3 months’:


Interim Head of Communications
 £500-£700 per day
 With considerable senior communications experience (Head of Communications, Director of Communications level) gained in a local authority or elsewhere in the public sector you are available at short notice for this initial 3 month Interim Head of Communications role.
As Interim Head of Communications you will develop an integrated internal and external communications plan. Managing a team of 12 you will drive the delivery of employee engagement initiatives, lead the media relations team and develop crisis communications capacity. You will be responsible for promoting the Council to a range of external stakeholders and informing and engaging employees on Council priorities.
Based North London you will work for a respected local authority on an Interim basis for an initial 3 month period, rate £500 - £700 per day."


Local authorities across the country are pleading poverty, making redundancies, hiking tax and cutting back on the vital services residents want and pay their taxes for, and yet here we find at least one council is more than happy to throw thousands of pounds at a temporary head of spin to deal with the media and any bad press that may be coming its way.


It’s really difficult to justify this spend when families are struggling and workers in the private and public sector are finding themselves without jobs. The public image of a council is one thing, but it’s certainly not a priority for residents. This extortionately expensive post shows that too many resources are being diverted toward masking problems within local government rather than solving them.


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