MARKETING Birmingham, the city council-funded promotions body is snubbing the government’s austerity message by appointing a £55,000-a-year spin doctor.
Advertisements for a “media-savvy” individual capable of selling a positive message about the city at home and abroad went out before Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget, which saw unprecedented savage spending cuts handed down to local councils.
The decision to fill Marketing Birmingham’s vacant Head of Communications post was slammed as a waste of money by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.
Campaigns Director Mark Wallace said: “This organisation appears to have managed very well without a head of communications for the past few months, and with public finances in such a mess this post should not be filled at all.
“The last thing Birmingham needs at the moment is another overpaid spin doctor.
“Local residents want their council tax used for essential services, not for propaganda.”
Birmingham City Council gives Marketing Birmingham about £5 million a year. The organisation gets the rest of its income from local businesses.
Its main responsibility is to promote Birmingham, drawing in investment from foreign firms.
It also acts as a convention bureau, co-ordinating hotel accommodation for major conferences at the NEC and ICC.
UK headhunting firm Veredus is organising the hunt for a communications supremo.
The advert reads: “The position requires a high degree of experience in stakeholder management, which will involve interaction across the entire public and private sectors to ensure a broad range of audiences are engaged.”
Marketing Birmingham chief executive Neil Rami said the new communications chief would help Birmingham become an “international city of choice”. He added: “The role will be a key part of the Marketing Birmingham management team and responsible for delivering strategic public affairs input to support Birmingham’s critical economic role.”