IF you heard that a local council had a head of places and a head of people, would you say: “I wonder what they are when they’re at home?”
Well, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has just created these two new job titles - and it rejects any suggestion they are gobbledegook.
The head of places is already in post and effectively replaces Jeanette McGarry, who quit as corporate head of community services last year to head East Staffordshire Council.
The other post has not yet been filled. The appointee would take over the role of education boss from Mark Rogers, who was promoted to chief executive of Solihull Council in 2008.
Both director jobs were advertised in the salary range £94,943 - £107,309.
The Conservative leader of the council, Ken Meeson, told the Solihull Times yesterday neither was a new position and that the job titles were designed to accurately reflect the range of duties of the post holders.
“Whatever anyone says, they are not jargon or gobbledegook,” said Councillor Meeson. “They are part of council restructuring. We are slimming down our corporate management team.
“The head of people post has not been filled because we couldn’t find the right candidate. It may be we will end up with a head of children’s services with responsibility for education and social services.”
But the council’s employment policy was criticised by Councillor Tim Hodgson, deputy leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group.
He said: “I don’t think the council should be creating more jobs in these difficult economic times. And I did say to the chief executive that these new job titles didn’t really mean very much.”
Last week, the Local Government Association urged councils to ditch impenetrable jargon like ‘coterminous stakeholder engagement’ and stick to plain English which ordinary people could understand.