If East Yorkshire Council were not spending anything on communication, I would be the first to complain. But at a time when budgets are tight, money cannot be found for road repairs or to adequately fund social care is it right the East Riding of Yorkshire Council spends £3,205,750 a year on communications, press and social media?

The council employs a total of 73 full time staff in their press, social media and PR department. This includes the Web team (17 staff), Advertising (6 staff), Public Relations (9), Digital roles (6), Internal Communications (3), Marketing (12), Print and Design (19).

The roles include a print studio manager, graphic designer, printers, customer service officer, lead web developer, senior web analyst, web developer, web analyst, senior advertising officer, sales and digital communications officer, advertising assistant, Public relations officers, Principal public relations manager, digital communications and project manager, principal digital communications officer, internal communications officer, principal marketing officer (Corporate), Marketing officer (safer roads), strategic marketing officers, strategic marketing officer (Humber Forests) and on and on.

Their output includes the stories and graphics you see on Twitter and Facebook (they design those funny cartoons with the gritters), press releases, posters for shows at the Spa in Bridlington, membership cards for leisure services, various leaflets and posters. I personally was flabbergasted to see that 17 people are employed to run their website.

The average cost of a member of staff is £44,000 including overheads. The average salary for a newly qualified social care worker is £30,852.

This year the council imposed a 4.99% increase in council tax.

Marketing and communications costs represents 1.54% of your council tax bill.

I guess some people might say £3,205,750 is money well spent and provides gainful employment for 73 staff. Others might ask if we’d feel the difference if there wasn’t a full-time strategic marketing officer promoting Humber Forests.

As a retired journalist I find it interesting that the Press and PR department doesn’t seem to have a press office or employ any journalists. Which is probably why people like me find it so difficult to get information.

As for me I’m just letting you know how your council tax is being spent.

You can see the spreadsheet listing all the roles by clicking on the link below.

FOI 0367 – Communications Staff Roles (final)


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