Suffolk: Cash-strapped council to recruit new �26k press officer

SUFFOLK: The cash-strapped county council is advertising for a new communications officer on a salary of up to �26,000 a year, it can be revealed today.

The authority, which is trying to find cuts totalling �43million for the next financial year, is looking for a new member of its communications team after an officer left towards the end of last year.

But deputy Liberal Democrat leader David Wood said the communications department should be looking for more savings, with the extra work being re-allocated to existing staff members.

He said: “When front line services like school crossing patrols are under threat, it is difficult to see how appointments like this can be justified.”

Suffolk’s head of communications, Simon Higgins, said the appointment would be a straight replacement for a member of staff who had left at the end of last year.

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The department had been re-organised during 2010 and the number of communications’ staff employed throughout the council has fallen from 32 to 12.

The re-organisation had saved about �500,000 from the communications’ budget.

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The job is advertised on a salary of between �22,900 and �26,200 and it says: “Suffolk County Council is going through a period of fast-paced changes.

“With a lively environment where something is always going on, this is your chance to be part of some of the biggest changes to Suffolk’s public sector services in the next decade.”

The council’s cabinet is preparing to discuss its budget for the next financial year tomorrow and will be discussing changes which could see the number of posts at the authority fall by 1,472 between 2010 and 2012.

n Is another communications’ officer needed at the county council? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@evening

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