Milton Keynes Council to spend £100,000 on new political advisers for councillors

No Caption ABCDE PNL-140312-152130001
No Caption ABCDE PNL-140312-152130001

Hard-up Milton Keynes Council is to spend up to £100,000 on three ‘political leaders’ to help councillors write their speeches and advise them on political issues.

They are this week recruiting for three “high motivated” people with exceptional political and communication skills to work directly with the Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem groups.

The salary for each person is between £29,636 and £33,799 for a 37-hour week.

Successful applicants will be expected to not only draft speeches for the councillors, but draft their comments on social media and even write ‘standard responses’ to queries from members of the public in their wards.

The job descriptions state: “Your role will primarily involve advising on political issues, and will also include dealing with the media, preparing speeches and briefing notes, researching policy issues, attending meetings and conferences within the area and elsewhere.

“You will act as the focus for information gathering and dissemination with community groups, MPs, local authorities, commercial groups and deal with Officers at all levels. Strong networking skills are essential to enable you to play a central part in the effective preparation and delivery of the Group’s future political strategy.”

The descriptions add: “You will bring acute political judgement, the ability to analyse data quickly, have excellent written and oral skills and good IT knowledge with real ambition to move the Party to its fullest local potential.”

Hours of work will include evenings and possibly weekends, and the “key duties” will include supporting the relevant group leader and members by preparing motions and questions for full council meetings, and providing policy research and briefings for councillors to use at meetings.

They will also be expected to “prepare councillors for interviews” and draft their speeches, media releases, comments, articles and social media posts.

Drafting “standard responses” and supporting casework queries will be part of the job, as will organising “away days” and training, says the application form.

Successful applicants for the three jobs, which are advertising on the council’s website, will benefit from the Local Government Pension Scheme and 27 days holiday a year.

MK council leader Pete Marland said: “The independent Local Government Association Peer Review recommended that councillors receive more support as the authority grows. These roles are part of a wider restructure of services to support councillors, for example to help with complaints from residents, that overall will be cost neutral to the council and they have been agreed by all three political parties.”