The Sunday Times has been busy sending in Freedom of Information requests to council about non-jobs. I wonder how they phrased the question? Anyway, they had responses from 118 out of 442 local authorities and have so far identified £800,000 a year going on non-jobs.

For instance teaching children to bush their teeth has traditionally been carried out in the private sector without payment by a workforce known as parents. But in Falkirk the state has taken over the function with a Toothbrush Assistant employed by the Council. The Council also employs a "cheer leading assistant." But I rather more sympathetic of Tendring employing a part time Tea Dance compere – but could a volunteer not have been found for this worthwhile role? 

More generally there is a danger of concentrating too much on Council staff with esoteric job titles. Most of the overmanning is from people with boring job titles.

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