Non-job of the week

No so much a non-job this week, but an egregious example of an obscene salary that has stunned us. This was brought to my attention yesterday morning, and at the same time independently aroused the interest of the Daily Express and The Spectator Coffee House Blog.

An unnamed London borough (and we have tried in vain to find out which one) is advertising for an Interim Head of Parking Services. When I first looked at it I wondered why the job was being advertised. Surely there must be someone in the council who can rise to the challenge for a few months before a permanent replacement can be found? This would be the most cost effective solution to the problem. Not that cost effectiveness is in the lexicon for many councils, so perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised.

Then my eyes scanned down to the salary for this post. If you think you are up to it, you can earn an amazing £500 - £600 a day in this temporary post. If this salary is annualised, that's the equivalent of  £130,000 - £156,000 a year! All of this for being in charge of parking wardens.

The prime minister earns £142,500 a year. How can the head of parking in a London borough be paid (based on £600 a day) more than David Cameron? It brings town hall largesse up to a different level.

We are constantly being told councils are forced to cut essential services because the government is cutting grant money to them. We have highlighted an example from Lambeth where the council has displayed posters saying  just that, and also increased the amount residents pay for parking permits by 700%. We have heard some councils are axing school crossing patrols to save money, even though they are not contemplating a reduction in senior officers' pay. Now a London borough - which seems determined to keeps its identity secret, probably by signing a confidentiality agreement with the recruitment agency - thinks during a time of reducing costs, it is appropriate to pay its head of parking services £600 a day!

When we find out which council this is (and we will) we will 'name and shame' it, and if any readers can help us, please get in touch. Councils deliberately hiding their identity when recruiting staff are treating taxpayers with contempt.

UPDATE: We found out earlier today this job has been removed from the Guardian's jobs website and from Morgan Hunt's website too. Fortunately, we have taken screenshots, and they can be found below. The job is either about to be filled, or they have been embarrassed by the negative publicity. Perhaps this will act as a warning to other councils who try to hide excessively paid jobs from council taxpayers.

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