A survey for the Sunday Telegraph of job advertisements has found that councils have created over 4,000 new posts since the new government came to power. It found 205 councils have created 4,148 new positions since May.
The new jobs range from those concerned with "wellbeing" and "life skills" also a "boom" in such jobs as "walking coordinators", "obesity strategy officers", and "active" workers, who promote health lifestyles.
Specific examples covered in the report include:
* At Anglesey, where no party is in overall control, 48 council jobs and 16 teachers are to be cut, the authority has created new posts for an "age friendly communities" manager – to make the island a better place to live for older residents – a walking and cycling officer, a "community conservation" officer – to run "green gym" schemes, where people are encouraged to create community gardens and plant trees – and an "Energy Island" programme office administrator, to promote renewable energy. The council insisted the roles would benefit Anglesey economically.
* In Hastings, the Labour-run council has put up parking charges, shut down public lavatories, reduced maintenance of allotments, cut the budget for lifeguards and closed the local museum one day a week, and is planning job cuts. But it has also created 25 new jobs including three "active women officers" whose job is to get local women involved in netball, athletics, cycling, badminton, rounders, tennis, table tennis or swimming. A spokesman justified these posts saying they could help to reduce costs to the taxpayer by increasing fitness levels.
One post, created by Tory-run Charnwood council – where charges for using public lavatories have been introduced and job cuts planned – is for a member of staff to encourage asylum seekers and ethnic minorities to get involved in nature conservation projects. It is partly funded with Lottery money.