It’s Wednesday again and time for our weekly non-job, and this week the public sector are advertising for 359 positions on the Guardian jobs website. There are some 84 roles listed within the salary band £40,000-£50,000, and that’s where we found this week’s nomination, a vacancy posted by Warrington Borough Council.
“Climate Change Manager
£40,741 - £43,408
Help us achieve a climate of real change.
When it comes to climate change, many organisations promise considerably more than they deliver. At Warrington Borough Council, we prefer to let our actions do the talking instead. Join us in this vital role and you'll be working in a newly formed Transportation and Climate Change Service, which was recently accredited with Green Flag Status from the CAA - an accolade which says rather more about our commitment to tackling environmental issues than any amount of empty rhetoric could.
Responsible for ensuring that we meet both our national and regional responsibilities in relation to climate change, you will play a lead role in the development and implementation of our Climate Change Strategy and associated action plans. As well as motivating, developing and managing members of your own team, you will also act as Programme Manager for our Climate Change Programme Board, ensuring that key partners both within and outside the Council work together to achieve our objectives.
This is a hands-on management role that demands considerable experience of negotiating and corresponding with high profile people, including Council Members and MPs. Possibly coming to us from a similar role in another local authority, or from a sustainable travel, project management or even communications background, you must be comfortable in a role that requires a lot of strategic thought and be able to confidently prepare bids for external funding”.
This is a hefty salary for an officer in Warrington (and indeed, most other parts of the country!) and with local authorities feeling the pinch, it seems astonishing that Warrington are creating new services and installing new managers, particularly ones who – let’s face it – are unlikely to make any real headway in reversing international climate change.
This looks like it’s just a concession, a tokenistic gesture and an attempt to jump on the environmental band-wagon. Unfortunately for the residents of Warrington, it’s making a dent in public finances whilst the one man (or woman!) green crusader in question is likely to invent numerous different schemes and initiatives (cue the ‘switch the lights off’, ‘don’t drive too much’, ‘plant trees’ burble that we’ve become used/impervious to) to justify their place in the council and – of course – their salary, none of which could reasonably be expected to make any real difference to the health of the planet.
Of course, when China builds a new coal power station every ten days, there’s something futile about Warrington Borough Council mounting a counter-attack with their one green man, but on this salary and with a supporting department, the costs will mount and the reality is no joke. The true nature of the task is betrayed in the detail though, and when they state that they would welcome applications from those with a ‘communications background’ they’re telling us that this is about PR, spin and polishing the image of the council. Something that should undoubtedly take a back seat whilst redundancies are being made and frontline services are being cut.