Is this a job for Special Branch...?
Cops hire £21k gardener
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