Non-job of the week

It’s Wednesday, and a plethora of public sector organisations are appealing for new media and marketing executives to join their ranks as the Guardian jobs site was reloaded with new taxpayer-funded positions.


Within the thicket of media manager, communications expert and PR advisor roles however, there are some even more questionable posts. Stoke-On-Trent City Council, for example, are advertising for one Investment Development Manager (£41,616 - £44,302 pa) and no fewer than THREE Investment Development Officers (£30,851 - £33,661 pa) with sales skills to try to convince both public sector and private sector organisations to relocate to North Staffs, using taxpayers’ money to convince publically funded bodies to indulge in costly moves and to simultaneously poach business from other UK areas. No doubt taxpayers also pay for the appropriate defence against such poaching...Nj2


And Oxford City Council are clearly keen to bang the ‘community engagement and development’ drum, spending potentially up to £100k on the salaries of a Communities & Neighbourhoods Team Leader,  a Community Development Officer AND a Locality Officer.


This week’s non-job(s) also comes with an accompanying managerial position on a higher salary banding and is – on the face of it – another community engagement role with a jazzier title and a brief loaded with gravitas as the lucky candidate is called upon to facilitate democracy:


"London Empowerment Partnership Co-ordinator (x2)
£31,148 - £35,053 (scp 33-38) p.a. including London Weighting


Share Your Views, Shape Your City
London Civic Forum aims to promote civic participation in London. We provide and support opportunities for Londoners to learn about the governance of London and empower citizens and organisations to have a say in regional policies and decisions that affect their lives.
We are the lead agency for the National Empowerment Partnership programme in London and the regional champion for two related programmes: Take Part and Targeted Support. These strategic initiatives aim to improve the quality and functioning of relationships between citizens and government and increase people's ability to influence the decisions that affect their lives. We work with statutory partners to improve the quality, coordination and evidence of community empowerment in London.
We now need to recruit highly accomplished and experienced officers to drive forward this important work and carve out a lasting legacy for community engagement in London.
London Empowerment Partnership Coordinator x2
£31,148 - £35,053 (scp 33-38) p.a. including London Weighting
Closing date: 14 May 2010
Interviews: w/b 24 May 2010
For an informal discussion about the post, call Hannah Peaker on 020 8709 9775
For more information and to apply go to or tel: 020 8709 9775
National Empowerment Partnership
take part


You thought a democratic vote was your way to influence in the decisions that affect your life, but what you didn’t realise is that actually you needed an empowerment co-ordinator to do this! “Share Your views, Shape Your City” reads the slogan the marketing consultants came up with, and now, though you’ve always been at liberty to write to your local MP or councillor we’re paying for some middlemen to come and coerce an opinion out of you whether you have one or not. 


There are two initiatives for these figures of democracy and empowerment to get their teeth stuck into: ‘Take Part’ (you can almost see them in their branded t-shirts and baseball caps in public areas proffering questionnaires...) and the rather sinister sounding Targeted Support.  Answers on a postcard as to who might be on the list of targets.


The level to which people engage with the government should be a matter for the individual. Instead we’re paying for these costly quangos to go in pursuit of those who prefer to keep their views to themselves.  The very nature of these initiatives means the opinions they collect are skewed and unrepresentative of the whole city or country and the ‘evidence of community engagement’ is a quantitative value recognised only by themselves. 

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