Non-job of the week

The UK's most infamous non-job has been filled. Regular readers will remember 2 December last year, my non-job of the week was a Future Shape Programme Manager, paying £70K a year. Since then this non-job has been talked about by newspaper columnists and has featured on radio and television. North East Lincolnshire Council's chief executive insists this new role is vital for the council. I beg to differ, but I'll leave it up to you to decide. In the following video you will see a clip of the new Future Shape Programme Manager, and there is an interview with the chief executive at the end.

These so-called change programmes seem to be breeding. On 23 February I mentioned Surrey County Council was looking for a Performance Manager on £41K a year. I don't know how big this team is going to be, but now the council is advertising for a Performance Officer and an Intelligence Officer, both reporting to the Performance Manager. The council is also looking for a Change Officer, who will be reporting to the Senior Change Manager. It's as if someone has asked the question, "Are we over-staffed?", and they got the reply, "I don't know, but perhaps we should hire a few more people to find out!"

I know I'm being sarcastic, and of course we want councils to improve performance, and save taxpayers' money, but does Surrey County Council really need to go to these lengths to do it? It already employs directors on very handsome salaries; has numerous departmental heads, with a vast array of managers beneath them. Surely these people have an idea on how they can save money and improve performance? They can consult with their staff to find out. Councillors will have examples readily at hand too. Do you really need a vast array of new staff to implement new ideas? I don't think so. If existing managers and directors don't know what to do, and can't think of ways of running a tighter ship, then they should be replaced with people who can do their jobs better.

After the publication of the Town Hall Rich List last week, we were constantly being told that to attract the best people you have to pay high salaries. I wish I had a pound for every time I'm told if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Well, we don't pay peanuts. It's about time these well paid public servants did their jobs properly and provided first-class services at the best possible price to the taxpayer, instead of creating new departments Sir Humphrey Abbleby would be proud of.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.  More info. Okay