Ipswich: Borough defends job advert seeking social media expert

MOVES to appoint a communications officer to develop social media links with residents have been defended by Ipswich council.

The borough has advertised for Communications Project Officer at a salary of up to �19,700 on a temporary contract of up to six months.

The job is aimed at developing the council’s use of social media – mainly e-mail and texts – to get information to residents and other registered users.

The new appointee will set up systems which should allow the council to tell people immediately if there are any problems. A council spokesman said: “We want to be able to tell people immediately if, for instance, there is a new show we think they may like at the Regent.

“Or by keeping a database of where people live we would be able to send out a specific text to a comparatively small group if, for instance, a refuse truck has broken down and we will be late emptying their bins.”

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Opposition leader John Carnall was not impressed by the new post. He said: “I think it is a disgraceful waste of money. In the grim economic climate there is a duty to save – not increase spending.

“There are people already at the council who could do this work rather than going out and recruiting.”

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Council deputy leader Neil Macdonald said: “Better communication with Ipswich residents is important for the Council.

“Many have already appreciated messages from us, such as a reminder of bin collection days over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“E-mail and text messaging is a much cheaper way of communicating than traditional methods.

“In accordance with the council’s policy the post was advertised internally first, but there was no applicant with the skills required. The post has been funded from existing budgets”

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