Let me openly declare that I am a Greens candidate for councillor and mayor at our imminent election. At a recent Meet the Mayoral Candidates forum on 27 August, at which only 5 candidates appeared, I heard some disturbing comments by both another candidate and the audience.
This concerns the concept of ‘cutting the fat’ from Council and proposing ‘outsourcing of services’. Given my recent experience of 7 years as HR Manager within the Council, and previously as a performance auditor, I can confidently say that, with the exception of the general manager, directors and divisional managers, whose appointments and promotions were outside my responsibility, council workers are committed, hard-working, skilled, well qualified and appropriately staffed to provide the invaluable services they do.
I told the meeting that I was committed to promoting initiatives that resulted in (preferably) permanent employment in our community. Renewable energy come to mind. I also stated an intent to preserve existing jobs. This includes those who work at Council. The suggestion of another attack on working peoples’ security of livelihood, will yet again leave them feeling victimised. They will likely decrease their discretionary spending, as they worry about their futures. This will impact on all small businesses within the community.
Perhaps, rather than looking at council jobs, we might ask whether the council may save money by cutting the fat from consultancy services and legal advice which the council seems to seek so often.