Non-job of the week

Given the sharp cuts announced in Wednesday’s budget, you would think that all levels of government would want to cut down on non-essential recruitment in order to maintain essential services. But instead of watching Mr. Osborne's performance on Tuesday, many local authority bureaucrats must have been watching Wimbledon instead.  As was reported last week, the bulk of this week’s non-jobs come from local government. The recruitment site is advertising some 424 ‘local government positions’ and the Guardian’s jobsite is showing 227.

There’s stiff competition for the title of non-job of the week from Hull City Council; they’re looking for an ‘energetic’ individual to be a ‘Principal Sports Development Officer’ (£38,042 - £40,741 pa).  The successful candidate will have the task of telling locals to be more active, and nagging about eating 5-a-day. The smokers of Medway have another contender for the title, as they will be part-funding a ‘Tobacco Control Officer’ (£22,958 - £30,011 pa).  Just one of the tasks this officer will have will be to stop smokers lighting up at the bus stop. It is quite clear that the majority of taxpayers do not want (let alone want to pay for) anymore busybodies interfering in their lives, yet many councils are still creating non-jobs whilst pot-holes go unfilled and school buildings crumble.

This week’s winner (found in the Guardian) is funded by London Councils – the local government association for public bodies in London.

‘Principal Policy & Project Officer – Culture, Sport & 2012 Legacy’
£32,020 pa
Fixed term/secondment until 31 March 2011 (with the possibility of extension)
London Councils is committed to fighting for more resources for the capital and getting the best possible deal for London’s 33 local authorities and their residents. We lobby government and others, develop policy, and run a range of services designed to make life better for Londoners.
The Culture, Sport and 2012 Legacy team has a vacancy for a Principal Policy & Project Officer.
London’s local authorities play a vital role in making London the most exciting sporting and cultural city in the world. This is an exciting time to join the team. The run-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games offers unprecedented opportunities and challenges for London’s local authorities. The next few months will also see key developments in sports and cultural policy at a regional and national level and challenging times for the public sector.
Working through our Culture, Tourism and 2012 Forum and alongside Heads of Culture and 2012 Lead Officers, London Councils lobbies on behalf of the 33 authorities to influence culture, sport and 2012 policy.
We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic person to join our committed team. The ideal candidate will be a confident self starter with the creativity and ability to take the lead on a range of projects across our policy areas.
You will need to get to grips quickly with a complex and shifting arena and to understand the unique role that London Councils has to play. Good communication skills – both written and verbal – will be essential.

There are several ways you could attack this position, but I think the most cynical fact about this non-job is that £32,020 of taxpayers’ money is being used to pay somebody to lobby central government in order to extract more money for the Olympic Games, thereby further increasing the burden to taxpayers’.

With the cost of the two-week sporting event ever increasing into stratospheric heights, non-jobs like these really should be stopped. The only ‘legacy’ this position will leave is debt and taxes for future generations.  

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