Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Council Tax Doubles since 1997

Councils 'waste millions' on pointless jobs

Struggling workers and families funding “audience development officers”, “cheerleading development officers” and “communications waste strategy officers”. All have been employed by local councils in recent years.

Posted by sovietuk @ 09:49 AM (2724 views)
Please complete the required fields.



37 thoughts on “Council Tax Doubles since 1997

  • cat and canary says:

    What is a “Communications Waste Strategy Officer”?

    …. ensuring old office telephones are recycled?

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • cat and canary says:

    Aha, theres a job advertised on several websites, at Hackney Borough council.

    £32 – £35K,

    Job description:

    Provide a comprehensive communications service for our Waste Strategy Team

    The Role

    We need a communications specialist to work closely with the technical specialists that comprise the Waste Strategy Team.

    The role involves acting as the lead communications officer for the team while ensuring that service specific communications work is integrated into the Council’s core communications activities.

    The Requirements

    It’s essential that you have sound experience of communications.

    This will include using a range of internal and external communications techniques, providing specialist advice to colleagues, organising and delivering communications projects or materials, newspapers, leaflets, publicity events and conferences.

    Responsibilities

    Join our committed, forward-thinking and ambitious team, and you will provide timely information to the media team with the aim of promoting recycling, reducing waste, and improving local environmental quality.

    Delivering expert communications advice to the Waste Strategy Team will also form part of your role.
    The Individual

    Your excellent interpersonal skills will enable you to present effectively in formal and informal settings and gain the confidence and respect of a wide range of stakeholders.

    A flair for condensing complex information and presenting it for different audiences, good attention to detail and a commitment to achieving best value will also be vital.

    Deadline: 13th July

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • c&c,

    I’d guess it’s the person responsible for sending out those patronising leaflets telling you to separate your waste into five different bins (I kid you not, we have five). If central govt insists on setting these recycling targets then the local councils will need somebody to sort out the leaflets and handle taxpayer complaints. Whether its a full-time job is debatable though.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • The problem with this article is that Eric Pickles is absolutely right.

    I work in Local government as a Building Surveyor. The number of non jobs has ballooned in recent years.

    Another side to this is that the Front Line ‘grunts’ like us earn sub £30,0000, and sometimes very ‘sub’. Whereas the non jobs have salaries of £38,000 upwards.
    And when the cuts really bite, who do you think will get it in the neck? I’ll bet you’ve guessed already.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • Drewster @3 ,

    What is wrong with having 5 bins? (so long as they are not all fullsize)

    Are you proposing that someone else should sort your rubbish for you? By someone in the UK?

    As far as I know policies (and it’s being generous to call them that) for waste disposal are local rather than national .

    It certainly does need to be sorted into what can be recovered, burned, landfilled .

    Some parts of the country have already run out of landfill and have to traffic it a long way. The country as a whole has less than 10 years landfill left. Yet another disaster we have been sleep walking into .

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • Part of the problem is that politically correct titles for the jobs have to be given, masking what the person actually does.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • So if people can’t be bothered to recycle we can carry on shoving it in a big hole in the ground? Or perhaps burn it? Very sustainable. It would be no problem if every citizen behaved responsibly regarding the amount of waste that they generate, and regarding where they decide to put it – but they don’t. So unfortunately someone is needed to tell them how to do it. Sad, but true.

    There almost certainly are some useless jobs and overpaid staff in local government, so the general tenet of Mr Pickles assertion – i.e. that there is a degree of wastefulness in local government, is correct. However, my take on his comments is that they are simply just another part of the “softening up” exercise that the coalition government is undertaking before implementing excessively vicious cuts that really do put any recovery at risk. I work in the public sector, and we are already making cuts this year – just 5% – but guess who’s likely to suffer first? Yes, the small companies that we would have employed to carry out some of the project work that we might otherwise have commissioned, the local farm shop that prepares buffet lunches when we have guests, the builder that would have had a nice earner dry-lining our education centre etc, etc, ad nauseum. Local government can be more efficient, but not if it is cut so drastically that it loses the ability to do anything useful.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • one thing i have noticed is very few council workers hold the qualifications needed to do their jobs, for example one environmental officer in our borough did now know sound waves cause leaves on trees to move and the said movement of the leaves helps dissipate the energy from the sound waves, he in fact said that was utter rubbish, HUH! does this guy not have a basic understanding of physics? should he be in a job which requires he has a knowledge of sound waves?

    They should go through councils cutting jobs, making sure people can actually do their jobs if not they should be fired, a BIG SHAKEUP is required.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • oops typo should read “did not know sound waves”

    recaptcha last slugs

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • Rental John says:

    It is the old upside pyramid approach – too many at the top supported by too few at the bottom. Was this Labour’s way of massaging the employment figures, and provide jobs to the social/eco/art/media degree types from university? I think yes….BUT, this needs a careful approach so that important roles are not thrown out in the same bathwater. Certianly all these ancillary posts need to be got rid of…..and NOW!

    http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/strategy-officer-jobs.html {many of these are council or Quango jobs!}

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • Rebecca Williams, an audience development officer at Warwickshire council, hit back at Mr Pickles’s suggestion that her job was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
    “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe in it,” she said.

    lol lol you do it because it pays your wages love, you do it so you can eat and have a house, what utter rubbish comes out of these peoples mouths..

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • My favorite non-job of the week was a street football co-ordinator.

    Having said that, some of these non-jobs like communications officers sound stupid but communication is important and someone has to do it. And how much do private companies like coca cola spend on communication and advertising? All that effort just to sell a few cans of sugary muck that rots your teeth and gives you cancer.

    trading havoc

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • ……an all those who are in high paid jobs……..just surfing HPC.com and the like all day……..
    ……sack the lot of ya I say…..sack the lot……….. Me? I dont work!

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • mark wadsworth says:

    Bluebeach is Kirsty Allsop! She also referred to this site as .com when everybody knows it’s .co.uk.

    Returning to the topic, it’s not £millions is £billions; it’s not just the non-jobs it’s the vast overpayments for actual jobs as well; it’s the early retirement and gold plated pensions on top.

    The fat cats will do the usual shroud waving and say “What about street cleaners and nurses” and so on, but people in public sector doing idenitiable ‘front line’ stuff is barely 2 million out of 6 million official public sector and 8 million taxpayer funded jobs.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • Definately needs a tidy up, as I said before I know several and whilst they can probably write incredible job descriptions, meet them in real life and believe me they operate on a different planet and if left to look after themselves would fail quite quickly.

    And as Mark says it’s the bullet proof pensions and benefits that’s the crippling element of their pay.

    Cyril

    Coke gives you cancer – I haven’t heard that one before. Is that on the basis most people who have cancer have also drunk coke ?

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • Goldbug9999 says:

    “how much do private companies like coca cola spend on communication and advertising?”

    I have a choice whether I buy coke and thereby pay all such people, dont have a choice with council services.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • tenant super says:

    I have a very important job… punctuation tsar. I spend my days enforcing the three dot compostion of the ellipsis.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • If only the public had more say in what goes on in their local council.
    The government is doing the right thing in exposing this farce. Let’s see if it’s followed up with action to remove these pointless posts and then a lowering in council tax.
    During a recession I would expect to see a lowering in council tax because the costs of running a council are lowered because of increased competition for contracts. But I see no lowering of council taxes and I see no one complaining yet.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • cat and canary says:

    To me the big point is the salary of up to 35K. Since its paid for by the taxpayer, then it brings into question those at the top of the council deciding the pay scales.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • Goldbug9999

    Exactly.

    I heard head of communications of a local council utter the statement ”ours is a 24 hour a day business”.

    Really, business hey.

    How many ‘businesses’ are there out there that charge all they’re clients what they choose or take them to court, but more over their clients concist of everyone in the locality.

    Doesn’t sound like much to do with ‘business’ to me.

    I see absolutely no financial risk for a start. Infact I see and administration job.

    And if it is 24 hours a day, how come you get away with only working 35 hours a week with 7 weeks holiday ?

    Now you’ve got me started.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • their not they’re – d’oh

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • letthemfall says:

    goldb:”I have a choice whether I buy coke and thereby pay all such people, dont have a choice with council services.”

    Nearly everything you buy will have an advertising cost built in. Unless you buy nothing at all, then you are forced to pay this. The notion of choice is largely false.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • 51ck-6-51x says:

    *sigh*
    scrap all of it, let’s pay private companies for any services we need or want.

    – There is nothing to stop many individuals in a locality drawing up a contract for waste services, for example – and if it were done this way there would be multiple such contractors competing for such business.

    Some public goods (those with higher transaction costs) will tend to produce competing associations (similar in many respects to govt. departments, although competing with each other over management of the same provisions via Coasian solutions – hence tending to be more efficient) whist others (those with lower transaction costs) would tend toward an assurance contract solution. Further still some public goods currently provided by the state would actually end up being provided by a member (or a subset of the members) of a privileged group since their individual benefit is greater than the total cost (i.e. we /should/ currently be free riders for some services for which we pay – maybe, for example, even a large part of the NHS?!).

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • 51ck-6-51x says:

    oops “multiple such contractors competing for such business”
    -> “multiple such contractors competing for such business by default

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • 51ck-6-51x says:

    LTF
    – Yep.
    Advertising is a certain result of game theory.
    Once a competitor starts advertising so must you.

    Is it productive? i’m not sure, but…

    In the words of the late, great Bill Hicks…
    “””
    By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing… kill yourself.

    No, no, no it’s just a little thought. I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they’ll take root – I don’t know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself.

    Seriously though, if you are, do.

    Ah, no really, there’s no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan’s little helpers. Okay – kill yourself – seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No this is not a joke, you’re going, “there’s going to be a joke coming,” there’s no fucking joke coming. You are Satan’s spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It’s the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.
    “””

    “””
    I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too, “Oh, you know what Bill’s doing, he’s going for that anti-marketing dollar. That’s a good market, he’s very smart.”
    “””

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • 666,
    Yes, beyond a certain point advertising is a losing proposition for society. In small amounts it can be good – informing people of new products & services and providing pricing information. However I don’t need a million adverts for coca-cola during the world cup – it’s hardly a new product.

    Not sure I can see a solution though? Ban advertising entirely? Ban it on billboards and bus shelters? It’s not as easy as LVT.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • need-a-crash says:

    @19. “To me the big point is the salary of up to 35K. Since its paid for by the taxpayer, then it brings into question those at the top of the council deciding the pay scales.”

    They probably apply the same logic as the Joseph Rowntree Trust ie. if the average salary of a manager (or whatever equivalent title the council decides to give the non-job) they just pay that amount. Whereas a REAL business would be constrained by what it could afford to pay.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • charlie brooker says:

    That’s roughly 5.5% annual increases, year on year or 3% above the target rate of inflation during that period.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • Councils always have wasted money – and always will.

    Unlike a business, they can force you to pay no matter how pathetic the ‘service’ they provide.

    Hardly any of their ‘services’ have any real commercial value at all – from those pointless glossy magazines to such things as cycling officers etc.

    I don’t think there is any prospect of things improving either – as long as voters in council elections don’t even have to be taxpayers.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • mark wadsworth says:

    @ Drewster 26, either LVT is the solution or there is no solution!

    If we have LVT on billboards and other poster sites, then the bulk of money spent on advertising gets recycled straight back to “the community”, so that money might be wasted (from the point of view of the advertisers see also “prisoner’s dilemma”) but it’s paid straight back to the general public, we all benefit from the money that advertisers “waste”.

    This can’t cover advertising in newspapers, telly and so on, but don’t forget that advertisers subsidise about 50% of the cost of newspapers (so assuming newspapers to be A Good Thing, the advertising must also be A Good Thing) and 90% of the cost of commercial telly etc; and commercial broadcasters in turn pay for their radio spectrum (a special kind of land value tax, but it’s the same principle – if it’s a government protected monopoly, then tax it).

    Sorted. Next problem.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • need-a-crash says:

    @29 Peter, “I don’t think there is any prospect of things improving either – as long as voters in council elections don’t even have to be taxpayers.”

    That was the view Magaret Thatcher took when she introduced the Poll Tax, vis a vis everyone in the community benefits from the councils services so everybody should pay at least some council tax. Then because everyone would be paying, everyone would take more interest in how their money was being spent.

    Of course the Left that enjoy spending other peoples money didn’t like this idea, so they rioted!

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • letthemfall says:

    Duke of Westminster didn’t like the idea. He thought it absurd that everyone pay exactly the same, regardless of ability to pay. Is he The Left?

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • letthemfall says:

    Duke of Westminster didn’t like the idea. He thought it absurd that everyone pay exactly the same, regardless of ability to pay. Is he The Left?

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • Enoughalready says:

    Bring on EasyCouncils ! Then watch them (the public sector) panic as they face the ‘c’ word – Competition! (Or bust!) That’s life as in the private sector for you matey. Your job will finish whether you “believe in what you do” or not!

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • mark wadsworth says:

    n-a-c: “That was the view Magaret Thatcher took when she introduced the Poll Tax, vis a vis everyone in the community benefits from the councils services so everybody should pay at least some council tax.”

    That’s one of the worst history re-writes I have ever seen.

    Truth is, Thatcher is the patron saint (or matron saint?) of Home-Owner-Ism. The idea was that a tax based on property values (Domestic Rates) was to be replaced with a Poll Tax. just to keep the late 80s property price bubble going and reward her loyal Tory voters.

    The ‘everybody benefits. everybody pays’ argument is complete hokum. Under DR, everybody had to pay some; under Poll Tax, people who owned large house or a lot of land paid a lot less and the landless scum had to pay a lot more.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • need-a-crash says:

    Ok I’m not going to try and defend the Poll Tax that much. Given my current housing situation I quite like the fact that the current Council tax is levied on property. I was simply saying in answer to Peter @29. that one of the best ways to make people care whether their council is wasting money or not is get them to pay something in the way of council tax.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



  • I revolted against Poll Tax because it was excessive and unfair; as a home owner I now effectively pay less than I would have paid in Poll Tax 20 years ago, even though I am effectively paying more as a single person, than each employed member of a couple!

    I still regard the Council as dubious value for money.

    Reply
    Please complete the required fields.



Add a comment

  • Your email address is required so we can verify that the comment is genuine. It will not be posted anywhere on the site, will be stored confidentially by us and never given out to any third party.
  • Please note that any viewpoints published here as comments are user´s views and not the views of HousePriceCrash.co.uk.
  • Please adhere to the Guidelines

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>