Natural England, a non-departmental government body sponsored by DEFRA, is recruiting for 29 professional posts (https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1472685%20 and https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1472667%20). Twenty-nine. At £24,120pa each, that costs £700,000 even without employer’s pension contributions. Where’s that money coming from during the current sustained attack on environmental public spending, including severe cuts to DEFRA?
Interestingly, these roles are in “Sustainable development” – that delightful oxymoron – as Planning or Wildlife Management Lead Advisers. Could these be aimed at combatting wildlife crime and protecting our wildlife?
Perhaps the role specifications may offer clues:
“Support the delivery of the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS)”
“Working with a range of partners, customers and colleagues to implement changes in the delivery of land use work.”
“Building partnerships with customers (primarily LPAs [Local Planning Authorities]) and stakeholders to resolve complex and often contentious planning issues and to develop collaborative strategic land use approaches to conserving and enhancing the natural environment.”
Curiously open to interpretation. “Changes.” “Enhancing.”
“Spotting opportunities for income generation through our Discretionary Advice Service including preparing Customer Contracts and delivering the service specified.”
“Spot opportunities around income generation, draw up contracts and work with customers on Pre Application advice.”
Perhaps government is expecting these roles to pay for themselves through licensing land owners to indulge their delusions of military control over nature. Perhaps I’m over-sensitive since our equivalent, Scottish Natural Heritage, is on its own crusade to monetise nature. Ah, time for my anti-cynicism medication.