Borough admits mistake over job advert

Borough leaders today conceded it was “inappropriate” for a staff recruiting site to be used to advertise jobs at the Liberal Democrats' new call centre in Ipswich.

IPSWICH: Borough leaders today conceded it was “inappropriate” for a staff recruiting site to be used to advertise jobs at the Liberal Democrats' new call centre in Ipswich.

The Labour group complained to chief executive Jim Hehir that the council's own electronic bulletin board was hosting job vacancies at the Lib Dems' national research and communications unit which has been set up at Ipswich Town's Portman Road premises.

Borough councillor John Cook said: “This appears to go completely against the council's legal responsibilities.

“Under the councillors' code of conduct, it is made clear that we must not use borough resources for party political purposes, but only in our role as councillors.

“Here we see the council using its own IT systems to encourage its staff to go and work for a political party.”

The advert said: “The work, in brief, is outbound telephone calling to lists from electoral rolls to ascertain voting intentions at the general election.

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“If you know anybody, family or friends, that would fit the role please pass on the details.”

Successful applicants would be recruited as political researchers and working hours on offer were from 5pm until 8pm, Mondays to Fridays, and 4pm until 7pm, Saturdays and Sundays, at �7 an hour.

Liz Harsant, the Tory leader of the joint Conservative-Lib Dem administration at Grafton House, said: “This item was put up on the staff electronic notice board by a member of staff without the knowledge of any councillors.

“He has since apologised but explained that the job vacancy advertisement was aimed at families and friends of staff who were out of work and not at staff themselves.

“Nevertheless, it was inappropriate and was removed as soon as we became aware. I have asked our legal department to remind all staff of their responsibilities when it comes to political parties and restricted posts at the council.”

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