Common Weal advertises new role for PFI/PPP campaign work in Edinburgh

Ben Wray

Common Weal’s head of policy, Ben Wray, brings news of a new position at the campaigning think-tank for a project developer

ONE of Common Weal’s priorities is to challenge the corporate-state: the domination of the public realm by powerful corporate interests. Nothing is a greater demonstration of this than PFI and its disastrous legacy in Scotland: for decades to come taxpayer money will be paying well over the odds to big corporations (most based outside Scotland) for the building of public projects like schools and hospitals.

The closure of 17 PFI schools in Edinburgh after the collapse of a wall at Oxgangs Primary has increased the spotlight on private-finance initiative, and its public-private partnership (PPP) successors in Scotland like NPD and Hub.

Alongside Jubilee Scotland and People Vs PFI, we launched a petition and held a public meeting in Edinburgh arguing that the books should be opened on all PFI contracts in Scotland so that they are open to public scrutiny.

From there, we want to expand the campaign to challenge PFI/PPP in Scotland systematically and offer an alternative for the financing of public buildings.

Common Weal has just received grant funding to build a campaign against public-private partnerships in Edinburgh and articulate the case for an alternative approach that is based on the public interest, rather than private profiteering.  A large amount of this money will be invested in a project developer to manage the campaign and ensure it is a success.

The project developer will be responsible for organising this campaign at both grassroots level and online. This involves building strong relationships with local communities and co-ordinating events and meetings to engage and stimulate discussion, as well as planning and organising the structure of the campaign. Being creative and resourceful is essential for the project developer to communicate the progress of the campaign, and as a way to inform and motivate others to get involved.

Lobbying and advocacy at the Scottish Parliament is also an important aspect to this role. Being well-informed on the issues surrounding PFI will ensure the project developer is knowledgeable and confident enough to interact with politicians and the media when representing the case for an alternative approach to investment.

The successful candidate will be highly motivated, creative, and energetic, preferably with a keen interest in social justice issues and progressive politics. Experience in web development and campaigning will be an advantage.

The contract is six months long, 16 hours per week, at £10 per hour. 

Please send in a CV and a cover letter to Applications close Friday 5 August and interviews to take place in Edinburgh week beginning Monday 8 August.

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