For fuck's sake

Brand Development Manager

Bristol City Council has been shutting down local area housing offices, providing services near to where council tenants actually live, for years now. The latest round of closures – done in the name of “improved access” – reduces these area housing offices in Bristol to just eight in total.

So what are the council spending all this money they’ve saved on then? Er, some well-paid “brand managers“. And what the hell will this latest shower of pen pushers with corporate job titles earning £15 an hour be doing? Well, this is what the job descriptions say:

An exciting new opportunity has arisen to manage the effective implementation and adherence of Bristol City Council’s new Access to Bristol “A2B” brand.

The Access to Bristol brand signifies the council’s vision for customer excellence, and the experience customers should expect to receive. The brand enables the Council to better communicate and reinforce its service values, objectives and principles to build positive public recognition and trust.

The Council is looking for a dynamic manager with a focus on delivery. As the brand guardian, you will be responsible for ensuring compliance to the A2B service values and performance criteria across all areas of the council.

Reporting to the A2B Brand Manager, and working alongside the Brand Development Manager, you will be influential in the formation of the brand strategy and its direction.

Managing a team of Project Officers, you will need to be skilled and experienced in planning and managing an annual programme of service audits, to review the performance of departments against brand protocol and standards including customer feedback. You should have the proven ability to translate the findings into action plans for key stakeholders, covering changes to business processes, the management of business performance, and the instigation of training and development programmes to embed a customer centric culture.

You should be passionate about improving the customer experience and delivering service excellence. You must possess excellent communication, negotiation and influencing skills, with the ability to develop collaborative working relationships with Senior Colleagues in a confident and credible manner. A positive and tenacious approach is key.

Brand Compliance ManagerDon’t worry. I’ve read it five times and I don’t know what the fuck it means either. Although I’d hazard a guess that the point of the job will be to convince the public, despite heavy cuts and closures in more of the council’s frontline services for some of the city’s poorest and most vulnerable people, that these services have now, miraculously, become “more accessible”.

So what Labour boss Helen Holland meant in May – when she promised “more openess and transparency” from the council – was yet more overpaid, superannuated professional liars insulting our intelligence while idling around the Council House on their high horses wittering on about “the customer experience” and “brand protocols” like it’s actually important.

It’s not. We’re fucking taxpayers not customers and the council runs a monopoly. It’s not like we can take our business anywhere else is it? What’s the point of a monopoly employing marketeers?

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2 Responses to For fuck's sake

  1. Stella Hender, campaigner for open local govt says:

    By September 6th, we now know they are reducing them still further, to just 4!
    Instead, tenants will be asked to use computer terminals dotted around the city, for example in the new Cabot Circus shopping Mall!
    I presume you feed your personal/benefit documents in to the machine and it produces photocopies and your receipt and gives your originals back? (like hell it will.) And you have to mess about with the machine with hundreds of strangers jostling you who could see/grab your personal documents and with no chair to sit on if you are disabled in any way? Great plan! Whats the betting the machine will say “Sorry you have entered incorrect data – visit your nearest manned customer service point (housing office to you and me) which is at… sorry it’s on the other side of the city, no unfortunately we can’t pay for your bus tickets and compensate you for the extra hours of time this will take you. But hey, what you vote for is what you get!”

  2. Bristol Patriot says:

    Well if you want to get the most from transferring the council stock over to ALMO or PFI. It makes sense to close down the centres / buildings the Housing Revenue Account have paid for [HRA] which is [ Tenants Rent Money]
    Then sell off the buildings. After all the ALMO or PFI wont want to have to pay for extra buildings will they?
    Very strange all this when in fact visits to Customer Service Centres is increasing.

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