Are you seeking a “new challenge”? Fancy a job that pays as much as £88,000 a year?
Want to work for somewhere that describes itself as “a place on the up, experiencing the largest growth of any London borough?”
And fancy a job which is likely to see your work featured, or at least mentioned, on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future on ITV News?
Cash-strapped Croydon Council, its recruitment freeze set aside, is looking for a “Head of Repairs and Maintenance”.
And they are offering between £82,703 and £87,968 a year for the right person to take up the hot seat.
Sources in Fisher’s Folly maintain that the timing of this announcement has nothing, absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the national scandal caused by the appalling state of unrepaired and neglected council flats on Regina Road, South Norwood, as was exposed on ITV’s News At Ten last month.
Lorraine Smout, the current head of repairs and maintenance who has worked for the council since 1986, is retiring, according to our source. So it’s all, of course, just a coincidence.
The vacancy has arisen without anyone being fired or resigning over the state of the sodden Regina Road flats, which were described as “dangerous squalor”, and which the head of a housing charity said were “the worst housing conditions ever seen”.
Of course, none of that woeful situation, nor the Labour-controlled local authority’s bankruptcy – morally as well as financially – is reflected in the relentlessly upbeat job ad which seeks to recruit Smout’s successor, someone who will be expected to manage the outsourced maintenance contract with Axis to oversee the state of the borough’s social housing and other public buildings.
Anyone familiar with Croydon and its dysfunctional council would struggle to recognise the south London borough from the advert’s blurb.
It’s hard to determine whether the ad has been drafted and signed off by someone who is shameless, or just witless.
Potential applicants are wooed with “Croydon is a place on the up, experiencing the largest growth of any London borough. It is a borough steeped in tradition, offering residents a rich and diverse history but has a forward-thinking mentality that is keen to embrace change and innovation to provide the best possible place for residents to live and work.”
Sound familiar to you? Didn’t think so…
“Central to this is our Croydon Renewal Plan where we seek to bring good governance and financial management to the fore, making the best use for the budget we have and ensuring that we seek the opportunity out of every pound.”
Yes. “Good governance and financial management.” It would make a pleasant change.
But the real zinger is yet to come.
“Your role as Head of Service for Responsive Repairs is pivotal in the strive to achieve excellence for our residents.”
“You will be responsible for leading a multi-discipline service that manages not only day to day repairs and ad hoc works but also the cyclical servicing and compliance-related services that keep our residents safe.”
Are the recruiters sure that they are talking about the same Croydon that we all know?
Anyone selected for interview for this hottest of Croydon hot seats might want to insist on being given sight of the “urgent” report into the Regina Road flats scandal. Because only then might they get a true insight into the “challenges” that await them.
Read more: Council tenants rebel: ‘Your staff make us feel less than human’
Read more: Ali accused of cover-up over findings on council flats scandal
Read more: Croydon shamed over ‘dangerous squalor’ in council flats
Read more: ‘Is it because the council don’t care? Where is their humanity?’
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