Over at Conservative Home, Hammersmith's favourite Councillor, Harry Phibbs lashes out at the rise of "council non-jobs."
Phibbs quotes local government minister Bob Neill as saying that:
“Crazy non-jobs like cheerleading development officers and press officers tasked with spinning propaganda on bin collections provide no value to the public."
Now I'm not sure what point Bob is trying to make here, but is he really suggesting that councils shouldn't employ press officers?
Or is "spinning propaganda on bin collections" something that only Bob Neill's press officers are allowed to do?
And as for the "cheerleading development officer," well unlike Bob and Harry I've taken all of five minutes to look into this story, and while it's true that Falkirk council did employ such a person it's not quite the publicly funded non-job Taxpayers Alliance led them to believe.
According to the Director of Education at Falkirk Council:
"In particular, questions were asked about the relevance of the ‘Cheerleading Development Officer’ posts. These posts are paid in full from newly acquired funding from the Lottery Fund – PE and Sport (NOF) aimed at encouraging young people to increase their level of physical activity. They are part of a larger programme of activities, including dance, as well as more traditional sports such as football.
In this case, like many others, the funding came from a bid submitted by the council to the New Opportunities Fund, for additional funding for the benefit of the Falkirk area."
So that's a council successfully getting third party funding, in order to encourage local kids to take up sport. Isn't that exactly the kind of Big Society the government's so keen on?
Because the truth is, as I've written before, the worth of a job is not always easy to judge from the ridiculous titles we give to them.
Speaking of which, I left the following comment underneath Harry Phibbs' post this morning.
Is this the same Harry Phibbs who is currently Hammersmith's cabinet member for "community engagement"? What a non-jobber!
For some reason they've chosen not to publish it. Bloody politically correct nanny-staters...