Well there’s no doubt about it, there are definitely fewer public sector jobs going up on the Guardian jobsite. On the 11th November 2009 we reported that the number of jobs advertised had hit 556, and today there are just 188. Though there are still a number of PR and communications-type posts, such as the Communication & Engagement Officer (£22,221 - £23,708) at Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service, alongside general community busy-body type roles, for this week at least the weird, wacky and downright outrageous jobs we’re used to seeing are pretty thin on the ground. Has the penny finally dropped?
Well, we won’t be retiring Non-job of the week just yet, as they’ve certainly not disappeared entirely (as they should’ve done in these straitened times), and on jobsgopublic.com – another expansive site dedicated to public sector jobs – there still lurks many a dubious vacancy.
In amongst the throng lies a Consultation & Community Relations Manager (£41,421 - £48,060 per annum) and a Neighbourhood Action Team Officer (up to £36,099!) – healthy salaries for such questionable roles that may well have more to do with PR than improving services.
Our non-job this week however can be found on the faithful old Guardian website, and is advertised by London Councils:
“Head of Fair Funding
£45,901 - £57,111 pa inc
There has never been a more exciting - or testing - time to be involved in local government finance. And London local government finance is a roller coaster ride of change and opportunity.
Change, because we all know the UK’s funding for public services is reducing, and local government finance - at around a quarter of all public spending - will face major cuts. Opportunity, because London’s local authorities are among the highest performers in the country: this makes London an exciting place for innovation and leadership. And London’s local councils are big business: total turnover is £25 billion a year. On top of that London’s councils invest billions each year in buildings and other infrastructure. So, we’re talking big money … and there’s a lot at stake.
London Councils represents the 32 London boroughs and the City of London. We work to both advance and defend London’s funding. London’s communities are enormously diverse and mobile: this throws up challenges for fair provision of public services, and for fair funding to support those services. London Councils Fair Funding team analyse, provide evidence, build arguments, lobby, and work with public affairs and media to make sure that our voice - on behalf of London - is heard loud and clear. We want to be listened to, our arguments accepted and acted upon. So we have to be compelling and persuasive in argument: fully fluent in data, information and evidence in order to be influential with government, elected politicians and other stakeholders.
As Head of Fair Funding, it will be your job to lead this work. You will work closely with colleagues across all policy areas, from children’s services to the Olympics, and with our media and public affairs team. You will work with London’s leading elected politicians. You will commission research, and design and deliver work to put the best possible financial case for London. You will network with finance directors across London, and be a high profile presence. You will be at the hub of a fast-moving, highly important, very visible wheel travelling a sometimes rocky road”.
Hmm. Just last week Eric Pickles announced that there would be new, tougher rules to stop ‘lobbying on the rates’ and yet this new post has it written in to the job description. This ‘Head of More/Fair Funding’ will be using taxpayers’ cash to vie for...well...taxpayers’ cash in order to avoid the sort of necessary cuts London councils need to make in order to combat government debt.
We all want our local authority to protect frontline public services as best they can, but if every council created a role like this to lobby to protect their budget, well then we’d get in to a situation where relative taxpayer needs and wants become almost irrelevant and the financial position of local and central government deteriorates yet more.