Staffordshire County Council Non-jobs

Whilst Stoke-On-Trent Council advertise for a £75,000-per-year spin doctor as reported in last week’s The Sentinel, Staffordshire County Council now continue the theme with two advertised posts of dubious value.


A council run children’s centre in Burton wants a ‘Community Link Worker (Fathers)’ (£15,459 - £17,985) to help fathers fulfil their role as…fathers:Dad_feeding


The worker will also respond to the emerging Community and Learning Partnerships which will require making contact with fathers across the whole of Burton and be required to work with other staff towards achieving the Fatherhood Quality Mark which has been established by Fathers Direct.


So now fathers have quality marks like cuts of meat in the supermarket to prove that they adhere to regulation and have passed all testing? And just in case you’re wondering what cryptic training Community Link Workers could possibly be giving to these (apparently clueless) fathers so they should receive the much coveted stamp of quality, the description does elaborate to describe:


You will be required to provide proactive support to fathers and male carers by developing activities/programmes, making home visits and working closely with fathers/male carers to encourage strong, happy and supportive relationships with their child (ren) thereby reaching their full potential.


It’s unclear whether all fathers within a specific area must be checked and stamped or if you have to be recognised as particularly lamentable in order to qualify for such ‘activities and programmes’. All we know if that the Community Link Worker (Fathers) must work within ‘objectives and targets’ so potentially perfectly competent dads are likely to be patronised and scrutinised by those on the payroll of Staffordshire County Council, who clearly know what’s best.


Perhaps more alarming however is this council’s advertisement for the post of ‘Staying Active Organiser’ (£12,431 - £13,195). The description is as follows:


A vacancy has arisen for an enthusiastic and motivated Staying Active Organiser within our Community Action department.
The post is primarily to provide sessional activities within HMP Stafford for older prisoners and promote life skills for those prisoners about to be resettle back into the community.


That’s right; it’s a fitness instructor for old criminals, and to limber up younger criminals who are about to be released back into the community. Or to be more specific to ‘organise’ their activity and impart life skills. So whilst Staffordshire care-homes close down for the law abiding elderly, those who are detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure are kept fed, warm and fighting fit. 


Although the above posts don’t have incredibly high salaries attached, the density of these non-jobs advertised on council websites is worrying as thousands of pounds a year appears to be being spent to proffer help to those don’t need it or don’t want it. A criminal is at liberty to take exercise without the need for a ‘Staying Active Organiser’, and a father should just as easily be able to seek help for parenting problems at a local level without there being a vast, dedicated and costly network complete with ‘Quality Marks’ and an army of ‘link workers’ ready to vet him out.


Public money is being used to create the salaries and pensions of positions that just aren’t required, and ordinary taxpayers are having to prop up these extraordinary schemes.


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