Tuesday, 29 June 2010

You Couldn't Make It Up! Yes You Can Actually

I know I shouldn't bother, but he just annoys me. In his latest rant against public sector employees, the Daily Mail's Richard Littledick rattles off a number of apocryphal stories about the excuses made for sickness and absenteeism. There are a few tiny nuggets of truth in his piece - it is undoubtedly true that many local councils and NHS trusts waste staggering amounts on consultants. In Newham, for example, we know from a Freedom of Information request that one Neil Litherland has been paid £1300 a day in consultancy fees since January to act as the Interim Divisional Director of Community Safety. But Littledick just can't help adding a liberal dose of fantasy to his writing and one reason for doubting the accuracy of the vast majority of his latest article is this gem:

A whole range of exciting new non-jobs is still being created. Reader Alex Jackson has drawn my attention to an advert from Newham Council, in East London, for a Community Catalyst Co-ordinator on £28,000 a year. How ever did they manage without one?

As always, Littledick is too lazy to bother to check his facts. If he had, he would have discovered that Newham council manages without a 'Community Catalyst Co-ordinator' because it is nothing to do with advertising the post. Community Catalyst is a project run by an independent charity based in Canning Town called Your Space E16 Counselling Project. It provides the entirely laudable service of low-cost or free counselling to people with emotional, psychological and relationship problems who live in one of the most deprived parts of London. Moreover, the coordinator salary is also part-time - they can only afford to pay someone for just under 19 hours a week. So if this part of Littledick's article is a lie, why should we believe the rest of it?

By the way, if anyone is interested in applying for the job, the closing date is 9th July. You can find more details on the NVSC website.

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