Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh No! The Responsible Finance Officer job up again!

The Town Council is trying again for a Responsible Finance Officer. So why can't the Town Council seem to keep one? The last one stayed for a short time and was only offered a 12 month contract.

The answer could be the organisation itself. Not being part of CPALC/NALC is a huge disadvantage. Having 2 damning audit reports also doesn't help. Not being a Quality Town Council also has an impact on whether the Town Council can recruit. Not advertising on the SLCC website also is a hindrance.

The trouble is the St Neots Town Council goes its own way when it comes to recruitment and changes to staff structure. It shouldn't. There is a breadth of knowledge out there which SNTC isn't tapping into.

There is much competition for these officers and St Neots Town Councillors need to get a reality check on the amount they pay this person. There isn't that many RFO's about. The fashion has been to combine the RFO job with the Town Clerks job leaving the mundane work to junior staff or a Finance Officer.

I feel another problem goes back to when the previous Town Clerk left. Instead of getting a proper Town Clerk into do the job, this was left to the Deputy Town Clerk to take over as Acting Town Clerk. This was wrong and I said so at the time. Link to Forum.

The Town Council is not in a position of attracting people to work for it. The pay is low and the responsibility is medium. Once in Town/Parish level government the prospects of leaving to go back local authority employment is low. I would suggest the proper pay for an Accounting Technician will be £25k -£32k range with the salary looking towards the top of the range.

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