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Cops hire £21k gar­dener

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Toby McDon­ald By

SCOT­LAND’S hard-pressed po­lice force is re­cruit­ing a mem­ber of staff to make Christ­mas wreaths – and do some flower ar­rang­ing.

Po­lice Scot­land is ad­ver­tis­ing for a £21,000-a-year gar­dener to work at the Scot­tish Po­lice Col­lege in the grounds of Tul­lial­lan Cas­tle, Fife.

At a time when the force is un­der in­tense scru­tiny over crime rates and staffing num­bers, it is also seek­ing a re­cruit with floristry skills and an abil­ity to raise pot­ted plants.

He or she will have to en­sure the force foot­ball pitches are up to stan­dard, as well as mak­ing sure paths and roads through­out the ex­ten­sive park­land are kept free of snow and ice.

Last month The Mail on Sun­day revealed the force was look­ing for an £80,000 ‘port­fo­lio man­ager’.

The lat­est job ad­vert on the Po­lice Scot­land web­site says the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­clude ‘green­house du­ties – such as plant prop­a­ga­tion, ven­ti­la­tion, etc – to pro­duce gar­den-re­lated prod­ucts, such as holly wreaths, bed­ding plants, flo­ral ar­range­ments and pro­duce planters for use in the col­lege at con­fer­ences and events’.

Ap­pli­cants would also be expected to ‘en­sure recre­ational ar­eas, foot­ball pitches, run­ning tracks etc are main­tained to a pro­fes­sional stan­dard’.

The ad­vert adds: ‘The suc­cess­ful can­di­date will be re­spon­si­ble for the main­te­nance of the grounds and the es­tate wood­lands, in­clud­ing snow-plough­ing and grit­ting.

‘Ap­pli­cants must be ed­u­cated to SQA Stan­dard Grade level or equiv­a­lent, plus have rel­e­vant hard and soft land­scap­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in­clud­ing road main­te­nance and knowl­edge of trac­tor-mounted ma­chin­ery and power tools.’

With a salary of £19,656 to £21,645 the gar­dener will en­sure a ‘safe and eco­log­i­cally favourable en­vi­ron­ment’ re­port­ing to the es­tates su­per­vi­sor.

At the cen­tre of the 88 acres of grounds is early 19th Cen­tury Tul­lial­lan Cas­tle – the cor­po­rate head­quar­ters for Po­lice Scot­land. A spokesman for the force said it is obliged to main­tain the grounds at the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment-owned prop­erty.

John O’Con­nell, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Tax­Pay­ers’ Al­liance, said: ‘Tax­pay­ers ex­pect po­lice to fight crime as ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble, and any money spent on a gar­dener mak­ing flower dec­o­ra­tions is money that can’t be spent on keep­ing us safe.’

Scot­tish Mail on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 29

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