And now KCC are giving Imperial free staff

It’s all just an idea, you understand, and no-one has made up their minds about anything. All the same, Kent County Council intend to spend your tax money on providing Imperial with a free employee to work on the plan to break conventional planning regulations and build on the AONB in Wye.

Unbelievable? You’d think so. But a private in-house job ad has just gone up inside KCC’s Environment and Regeneration unit… for someone to go and work on secondment with Imperial to further the Wye Park project.


No point in looking on the public website for the post… it’s not there

Don’t look for the advert on KCC’s public jobs site, because you won’t find it. The e-mail below is strictly inhouse, inviting applications for a ‘secondment opportunity’ within the environment and regeneration directorate. The lucky person will work for two to three days a week with Imperial in Wye and the rest of the time with the rural regeneration team at Invicta House, Maidstone. The only part of Wye that actually needs regeneration at the moment is the college itself, of course, since it has been methodically run down by Imperial over the years. But don’t expect that to be part of the brief.

Instead the secondee will be offered ‘a unique opportunity to work on an exciting and emerging agenda to establish Kent as a centre of national and international excellence for non-food crops’… destroying an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty along the way. The pay will range between £22,813 and £25,800 and, since this is a KCC appointment, we have to assume it is all coming out of our rates. Odd, if this is really just an idea being explored, don’t you think? But given that KCC gets £1.5 billion of public money a year to do its job, just a drop in the ocean.

Here are the gory details…

Subject: Secondment Opportunity
Importance: Low
A secondment opportunity has arisen within E & R – please see details below.
Project Officer – Kent Non-Food Crops. Based at 2nd Floor, Invicta House/ Imperial College Wye.
Indicative pay-points: 26-30 (£22,813 – £25,800)
A unique opportunity to work on an exciting and emerging agenda to establish Kent as a centre of national and international excellence for non-food crops.

Key Tasks:

  • Providing a point of liaison between the Kent-non food crops steering group and the global non-food crop centre initiative
  • Setting up the global non-food crops office at Wye
  • Authoring project briefs and taking forward funding applications etc
  • Working with the Kent Non-Food Crops Project Manager and the Global Non-Food Crops Manager to co-ordinate efforts and support the work of the Kent Non-Food Crops Steering Group
  • Contributing to wider rural regeneration projects (2-3 days week)

Skills you need:

  • Fast learner – must be able to quickly grasp an emerging agenda, and develop a good working knowledge of non-food crops
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work with people at all levels and within a high profile environment
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) with an ability to develop project briefs, take forward funding applications etc
  • Team player with experience of working in with partnerships

This secondment is for 1 year, full-time:
2-3 days per week at Imperial College Wye
2-3 days a week at Invicta House within the Rural Regeneration Team
Starting June 2006
Application deadline: 5 May 2006
For more details please contact Liz Craven, 01622 221381 or Stuart Gibbons, Head of Rural Regeneration (01622 221958)
If you wish to apply, please complete the attached application form and email or send to Liz Craven (2nd floor, Invicta House)


About David Hewson

Professional novelist, published in more than 20 languages. Creator of the Nic Costa series set in modern Rome, Pieter Vos in Amsterdam, adaptions of the Sarah Lund stories in Copenhagen, and versions of Shakespeare worked for Audible.
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7 Responses to And now KCC are giving Imperial free staff

  1. J Arthur says:

    Yet a further example of a concordat member making a complete mockery of our so called democratic process.The KCC are taking the mickey out of us!
    Those at County Hall are riding roughshod over us without seemingly any opposition from our County Councillor, Mr Charles Findlay.
    When is he going to start representing us?
    When is he actually going to say something to us?
    When is he going to start protecting us?
    For goodness sake man converse with us through save-wye even if only let let us know you are still awake!

  2. Sid Smith says:

    Wan’t our Charles something in the city? nobody knew what,now transferred to KCC for a nice quiet little earner.

  3. Sid Smith says:

    Sorry for spelling mistake-should have read “wasn’t

  4. jack woodford says:

    Refering to J Arthur and Sid Smith comments above , the gentleman in question is scheduled to come and give an address at the annual parish meeting on Thursday 4th MAY in the village hall, Wye at 7.30 pm, i’am sure he would welcome some constructive comments from interested persons either before, during, or after the meeting! We are hoping that Rosemary Green, will put in a guest appearance, to put some of her pro-Imperial College comments ! in or out of the village hall.

  5. Lord Lucan says:

    Rosemary Green is a friend of mine. i’ll bring her along with me!

  6. pete raine says:

    Dear save-wye

    A few comments to set the record straight, if I may, about your article ‘Now Kent County Council is giving Imperial free staff’ in your issue 7.

    1) You say “Kent County Council intends to spend your money on providing Imperial with a free employee to work on the plan to break conventional planning regulations and build on the AONB at Wye”

    Comment: Untrue. The job description (which you reproduce in full) makes clear that the person will work on developing Kent as a centre for the emerging non food crops industry and is unconnected with Imperial’s plans for expansion at Wye. We intend to spend taxpayers money on developing non food crops – including biofuels – as something which we believe offers a potential future for Kent’s beleaguered agricultural industry and as something which offers a sustainable energy future.

    2) You say that the person will “work with Imperial to further the Wye Park development”.

    Comment: Untrue. The job description in no way includes that remit.

    3) You say that the person will “destroy…an Area of Ourstanding Natural Beauty on the way”

    Comment . Untrue. The person will based partly here in Maidstone and partly in the existing Wye buildings. At no point will they be involved in planning any impact on the AONB.

    Pete Raine, KCC

  7. David Hewson says:

    Thanks for taking the time to contribute. Can I make sure we all understand this correctly?

    So we can now take it that the non-foods crop centre, to be run by Imperial, and the science park, to be developed by Imperial, are entirely separate projects? The development of the first is not dependent upon the development of the second? We can have one without the other? Where exactly then is the non food crop research to be based — in existing buildings or new ones?

    PS. In the absence of further clarification, I must say I remain baffled, particularly after reading your comments in Kent on Sunday reproduced here which clearly appear to regard the science park and massive housing development as part of the same exercise. The job description may not mention development in the AONB (it wouldn’t, would it?) But if the effect of the non-food research centre is that the science park and 2,000 houses have to be built into the bargain, then the net effect of KCC supporting the development of the research centre is, surely, support for Imperial’s property development ambitions.

    But I stand to be corrected.

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