Social media users in Berkshire have spotted some unexpected posts from a local authorities channels in the last few weeks.
Bracknell Forest Council (BFC)’s social stream has been calling for Welsh speakers to apply for a job with the authority in the borough according to the Local Democracy Reporter Service
This is because in 2018 Flintshire County Council paid BFC £80,000 to create a job for a welsh-speaking emergency response officer (ERO) to take calls from distressed residents.
**Calling all Welsh speakers ** If you are fluent in Welsh we want to hear from you. Our emergency out of hours service, Forestcare, is recruiting a Welsh speaker to handle enquiries as part of our contract with a #Welsh local authority. Details here: https://t.co/282P3OBIlS #Job pic.twitter.com/OzJGIU3Nbh
— Bracknell Forest (@BracknellForest) January 14, 2019
Consequently, this means the ERO could be taking calls from elderly or vulnerable Welsh adults despite being based in Berkshire, almost 200 miles away from Flintshire.
The ERO will be working for the council’s ‘Forestcare’ service, which is an out of hours provision that supports distressed residents across the country.
Law requires the council to meet Welsh speaking standards but prior to the job application being listed, the authority had been using a translation service to deal with calls from Welsh speakers.
The postings were spotted by national satirical magazine Private Eye in summer 2018.
A column in the bi-monthly publication read: “In the wonderful world of outsourcing, BFC has won a contract to monitor out of hours the lifeline alarms of elderly and vulnerable residents for 25 local authorities and housing associations, one of which is Flintshire County Council in North Wales.
“The Flintshire job alone is worth £80,000 to BFC. So when Doris in Mold takes a fall and presses her buzzer, someone in faraway Bracknell will contact her neighbour, next of kin or emergency services.”
By Ollie Sirrell – Local Democracy Reporter/ Bracknell and Wokingham (more here).
Picture: Snapshots of Bracknell