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Climate Change Officers At Sheffield City Council

January 11, 2012

By Paul Homewood

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Following my FOI request to Sheffield City Council to provide a list of employees whose roles primarily involve work relating to climate change, I can reveal they are spending over £600,000 p.a. on “Climate Change” Officers. They employ 13 officers at an average salary of about £35900 (depending on exactly where individuals are in their salary bands). When National Insurance and Pension Scheme contributions are added to this, the total rises to £624,000 p.a. Other administration costs such as accommodation, computer and travelling costs would, at a conservative estimate, increase the overall costs to above £650,000.

The Department is headed up by a “Director of Sustainable Development”, who is paid within the salary band of £63822 – £68484. According to the Council, the Department’s role is “to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, reduce fuel poverty and improve environmental performance”. However the list provided under FOI only counts the posts which are most directly related to climate change work. In other words other staff within the Department may also carry out “climate change” related work.

Although the Council may attempt to justify such expenditure by pointing to savings on energy costs, it is surely the responsibility of managers in all Council Departments to keep all costs, including energy, to a minimum. It should not be necessary to set up another Department to do their job for them.

Perhaps most significant is the fact that every single one of these posts has been created since 2008 and during a time of severe financial stringency for local government in the UK. Somehow the city managed perfectly well without them before then.

To put this expenditure into perspective, Sheffield has a population of about 550,000, just under 1% of the UK population. If Sheffield’s costs are scaled up, the total UK costs could amount to £73 million p.a. All to make no difference to a problem that does not exist anyway.

I just hope the polar bears are grateful.

2 Comments
  1. thespecialone permalink
    January 11, 2012 6:54 pm

    I take it you will be writing to your local press; and comparing these salaries with those of the likes of carers, street cleaners, dustbin men/women etc. You know, those jobs that really make a difference.

  2. January 19, 2012 8:32 pm

    It makes perfect sense. When there are hard financial times, create new departments and new jobs that do not produce anything. Then, with the added burden to the budget, there is even more excuse to create more departments. After all, they are creating jobs—blood-sucking jobs. That’s bureaucracy for you.

    Only free market capitalism can create real jobs that create wealth and prosperity. It is telling that Keynes was the one who thought up the idea of government spending to create prosperity and, as a government advisor, then used his position for his own gains by knowing where the government was going to spend. It’s call government-level insider trading.

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