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News - 7 August 2013

City council advertises five senior communications posts.

The cash-strapped city council is currently advertising vacancies for five new senior communications officers – just months after it announced a number of job losses within its press department.

The authority says the new posts, some of which will be funded by other organisations such as Public Health England, are part of a major restructure of the team which will save £114,000 a year.

But critics described the move as “economic madness” and have accused council chiefs of “frittering away” public money on new spin doctors.

The five new posts are divided among full-time positions for communications officers dealing with leisure, public health, housing and a generic role, while there is a part-time role dealing with the promotion of future developments in the city.

The full-time roles command salaries of £25,803 to £33,927 with the part-time job having an annual wage of £12,901 to £16,963.

Labour Councilor Against The Cuts Don Thomas said: “There is no justification spending hard-earned public money in these hard times on communication officers, it really is economic madness. Public money is public money whether it’s internal funds or external funds.

A council spokesman said that the new communications team “in its new configuration” will deliver savings for the taxpayer of more than £100,000 and provide “more joined up and efficient support at the same time.”

He added: “The overall reduction included the deletion of the director of communications post in 2012/13 and the replacing of two media officers and three marketing officers with three senior communications officers.”

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