Having reviewed the papers for the ‘non-job of the week’ over the past year, more and more of these party-political, taxpayer-funded non-jobs are cropping up. Our local branches have been highlighting their growing presence in the council jobs pages and, I’m sure you’ll agree, taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for partisan, party political appointments. Have a read of the non-job of the week:
“Political Adviser to the Respect Group
£30,018 - £32,094 pro rata
The Respect group has been formed on Tower Hamlets Council. Of the 51 seats the Labour group holds 29 and has formed an administration, the Conservative group has 8, the Respect group has 7, the Liberal Democrats 4 and the Respect (The Unity Coalition) group has 3. The Respect group is determined to play an active role in holding the administration to account and seeking to influence the policy agenda as well as effectively representing constituents. The Political Adviser will play a key role in supporting the group in achieving these ambitions.
Tower Hamlets is an intriguing place. It houses vibrant, diverse communities with a population of around 196,000 made up of people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds - over one third of the population is Bangladeshi and 7% of the population is from African/Caribbean backgrounds. The population has grown rapidly, with an increase of over 45,000 people since the previous census in 1991 and the borough now has one of the highest population densities in inner London.
Over the past 10 years the borough economy has undergone major structural changes with significant employment growth in the banking and financial service sector. This now represents over 40% of all employment within the borough. It nonetheless remains one of the most deprived areas in the country. The thriving Canary Wharf development is within the Borough and the City is on our borders. Affluence and deprivation contrast vividly and provide exciting and interesting challenges, encouraging members and officers alike to innovate and adopt policies, which genuinely try to enhance the lives of our residents and other constituents.
As Political Adviser your work will directly assist the group to address the challenges it faces. You must be committed to the Respect Group's political aims and have excellent communication skills in dealing with members and officers of the Council, the media and the public. You will be expected to co-ordinate and service meetings and undertake research, working on your own initiative and often under pressure. The Council has operated with a Cabinet style decision making structure since May 1999 and you will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of the Government's modernising agenda.
This post is advertised under the terms and provisions of the Local Government and Housing Act, 1989 relating to the appointment of assistants to political groups.
For an informal discussion, please contact Beverley McKenzie, Members' Support Manager on 020 7364 4872.”
To be fair, Labour has an advert in the Guardian also advertising for a political apparatchik, so this isn’t a partisan attack against a single far-left political party, it should shame all that use our money when the political parties should be using theirs. The problem with both these jobs – and adverts – is that the political parties haven’t paid for them, we have.
Your taxes have already paid for the advert and the non-job. Your taxes will fund someone “committed to the Respect Group's political aims”, completely involuntarily. If you want to contribute to the Respect Party’s aims, then donate to them freely as is your right. This job, however, takes taxpayers money and puts it towards a partisan political campaign, something taxpayers’ don’t expect as a return from their soaring Council Tax bills.