In the interests of openness and accountability, here at Inside Croydon Towers we feel it is only right and proper, while Our Gav is up in Manchester at the Conservative party conference, to give him a bit of free advertising and re-post here the job ad he placed on a Westminster website last week.
Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, is looking for a new assistant. Barwell’s (state-funded) constituency staff already includes Sara “Book Token” Bashford, the local councillor who has shut down the David Lean Cinema, who withdrew funding from the annual Croydon Music Festival (a vital plank of Croydon Council’s bid for city status, apparently), and who now wants to privatise all 13 of the borough’s libraries.
We are not sure how widely this vacancy has been advertised among Croydon’s unemployed, unless they are regular readers of Barwell’s own blog. According to Westminster payscales, the state-funded job should pay between £23,000 and £33,000 per year.
And while the ad is not explicit, we suspect that Gav might want someone who is well disposed to Conservative party policy, and possibly even someone who, like Barwell, went to a private school such as Trinity.
Posted on Friday at w4mp.org, the Barwell staff ad reads:
Gavin Barwell, Conservative Member of Parliament for Croydon Central, is seeking to appoint a Parliamentary Assistant to be based in Westminster. The ideal candidate will be highly organised and able to manage many competing priorities. They will be self-motivated, conscientious and be able to work well under pressure. Excellent writing and research skills are essential and previous experience working in Parliament or politics is desirable.
- Sole management of the Westminster office including:
– managing the Member’s Diary commitments, with overall control of Constituency commitments;
– ensuring the operation of the office is within the allocated budget and the Member is kept informed of all financial matters;
– ensuring a full range of secretarial and administrative support, including: telephone and visitor enquiries, responding to email and letters, efficient data and file management;
– overseeing the budget for the office including Expenditure under the MP’s Expenses Scheme, monitoring office expenditure, paying bills and invoices; providing forecast of spend and estimates when required; keeping records of all transactions; and
– ensuring the office is fully equipped and office supplies are maintained.
- Respond effectively, courteously and independently to routine correspondence and enquiries from constituents, the media, lobbyists and pressure groups.
- Undertake research, usually from secondary sources, on complex and difficult subjects.
- Analyse and evaluate research and interpret data ensuring key issues are identified.
- Prepare and present results both orally and in writing e.g. for parliamentary questions, briefing notes for committees, articles and press releases.
- Provide briefings and potential questions to the Member and motions to be put to the house.
- Monitor bills, Early Day Motions, legislation, Hansard, debates, etc.
- Monitor coverage in the media, and liaise with the media when necessary.
- Advise and guide the Member on policy issues.
- Maintain, update and develop knowledge of relevant legislation.
- Ensure records are kept, with details of each issue by adhering to the Data Protection Act principles and respect the confidentiality of data at all times.
- Communicate effectively with both internal and external contacts.
- Maintain parts of the website.
- Occasional travel to the constituency is required.
- Competent use of IT including Microsoft Office package, email and internet to: draft correspondence and reports; set up and maintain spreadsheets and undertake research.
Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO).
If you fancy applying, the ad can be found online here (deadline for applications is next Monday, October 10).
And although he may not meet the “essential” requirements of “excellent writing and research skills” or have “previous experience working in Parliament or politics”, we reckon that Croydon Conservative Association activist and Barwell cheerleader “Super” Mario Creatura is a virtual shoo-in.
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