Tuesday, 13 September 2011

When is £3,000 per month over budget value for money?

In July 2010 Leicestershire County Council announced that they were to appoint a new Head of Communications.

The salary for the post was a significant £74,000 per year.

The Hinckley Times reports that more than 40 applications were received for the post but noone was ever called for an interview.

Instead the County Council appointed a consultancy firm called Westco to do the job.

How much did the County Council pay for Westco? Not less than the advertised salary but instead £10,000 EVERY MONTH!

Whilst over a year later LCC have now decided to appoint a new Communications Manager at £48,390 they have the audacity to say:

“...when balanced against the monthly saving on the vacant head of communications post, the net monthly cost of the service is approximately £3,000. We believe that represents good value for money.”

I don't believe for one second that Communications is a superfluous function. On the contrary in a complex customer facing organisation positive communication is essential.

But we must also realise that given the wider economic picture public services must be subject to tight budgets.

£74,000 is a lot of money BUT £3,000 a month is a lot more OVER budget.

I get upset when I read articles in the right wing press about 'non jobs' in local government but when you hear of waste like this it's difficult not to see why.

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