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Assistant to Political Group (Liberal Democrat Group)

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Job Summary

Employment Term:
Full Time, Limited Term
Working Pattern:
Full time
Advert Start Date:
Advert End Date:
Closed for applications on 18/08/2019 23:59
up to £34,968
Hours per week:
37 hours
Job Category:
Electoral Services
Vacancy ID:
Employment Location:
Council offices, High Street, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 9TR
Post Number:

Job details 

Closing date:
18 Aug

Please note

This job is closed for applications.

Further information

Summary of Post

South Gloucestershire Council is a Unitary Authority, governed by a leader and cabinet system. The Liberal Democrats made gains at the recent elections and are the largest opposition party on the council. The Conservative Party are the majority group.

We are looking for a highly motivated individual with exceptional political and communication skills working directly with the Liberal Democrat Group on the Council. Your role will primarily involve advising on political issues, and will also include dealing with the media, preparing speeches and briefing notes, researching policy issues, attending meetings and conferences within the area and elsewhere.

You will act as the focus for information gathering and dissemination with community groups, MPs, local authorities, commercial groups and deal with Officers at all levels. Strong networking skills are essential to enable you to play a central part in the effective preparation and delivery of the Group’s future political strategy.

As a member of the Liberal Democrat Party, you will bring acute political judgement, the ability to analyse data quickly, have excellent written and oral skills and good IT knowledge with real ambition to move the Party to its fullest local potential.

The post is subject to political restriction in accordance with the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Hours of work will include evenings and possibly weekends.

This post is a limited term contract ending May 2023.

Interviews will be held on Monday 2nd September 2019.

Main Duties

To provide political and policy advice to the political group, including the facilitation of group budget and other proposals.

To suggest and contribute to changes to Council policies and proposals where appropriate.

To provide a full research and evaluation service to the political group.

To monitor closely national and local political developments and local issues, including changes to government policy, legislation, and Council and external reports and initiatives, and advise the group on issues and implications.

To assist in the identification and development of policy initiatives.

To assist and support the group leader in developing the group’s strategic direction and development as a cohesive and effective political entity playing its full role within the Council.

To assist the group leader in the administration and management of the group.

To mentor and provide advice and support to individual group members to assist in their effective contribution as group members within the Council.

To liaise with community groups, the media, local and national bodies, MPs, local authorities, professional organisations and other networks for the exchange of information, the gathering of ideas and the development of group initiatives.

To provide media-relations support and advice to the group, including the preparation of group press releases.

To liaise and develop constructive relationships with all levels of staff within the Council to acquire information, negotiate with and promote the views and objectives of the group, on any aspect of the Council of interest to the group.

To attend all types of Council meetings and briefings in support of the work of the group or its leader.

To attend internally and externally organised conferences, seminars and meetings, evaluate information gained and report back to the group, with advice on issues arising as appropriate.

To provide any other additional support requirements as determined by the group or the group leader.

Selection Criteria

To enable us to shortlist in a fair and unbiased way it is absolutely vital that you provide us with sufficient information to demonstrate how you meet or exceed the criteria outlined in the vacancy description. Please include this information in the knowledge, skills and experience section of the application form.


Educated to degree level or equivalent professional qualification.

Political and organisational sensitivity. An understanding of the political environment.

Able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of issues affecting local government and how the Council works.

Proactive; sensitive to emerging issues and their potential significance for the Group.

Excellent communication skills, verbal and written. In particular, able to produce succinct, jargon-free notes, briefings, presentations and reports, articles, letters and press releases.

Highly developed interpersonal skills; able to build up and maintain good working relationships with officers and Members from a wide range of backgrounds.

Diplomatic; able to deal with difficult issues and people with sensitivity and tact, but able also to challenge confidently when required.

Ability to maintain strictest confidentiality.

Exemplify the Council’s values and behaviours.


High degree of self-motivation; able to manage own workload effectively, organising and planning tasks, including working to tight deadlines, under pressure, and with minimal supervision.

Able to absorb, summarise, analyse and interpret a wide range of documents and other information sources clearly and analytically.

Self-sufficient with technology – MS Office applications.

Flexible and adaptable; able to offer support across a wide range of areas and to respond quickly to new situations and changing priorities.

Additional Information

For further information, please contact Natalie Carr, Democratic and Member Service Manager on 01454 868198 or email Natalie.carr@southglos.gov.uk.

This post is a limited term contract ending May 2023.

This is one of three Political Assistant posts subject to the provisions contained in Section 9 of the Act and Part M of the Council’s Constitution and are filled in accordance with the wishes of the relevant political group (i.e. the one to which the post has been allocated).

By law, appointments to these posts expire at midnight on the day of the Council’s Annual Meeting immediately following full Council elections.

The decision to allocate the posts to qualifying political groups is reviewed by the Council at its Annual Meeting immediately following the full Council elections.

Postholders must be prepared to work at different locations and work irregular hours, as required.

Assistants to political groups must be members of the relevant political party.

Assistants must work within the procedures contained in the Council’s Constitution and associated protocols.

The posts are subject to the limitations set by the Local Government (Assistants to Political Groups) (Remuneration) Order 2006.

Safer Recruitment

South Gloucestershire is committed to safeguarding and promoting the safety and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Our Values

As an employee of South Gloucestershire Council you will be expected to have a ‘can-do’ attitude and adapt to the fast pace of change. You will strive to work well with others to reach a common goal and embrace a partnership and inclusive approach to delivering efficient and effective services. You will use your initiative to deliver and take responsibility for your performance to help the team, department and council to achieve its goals and make the best use of available knowledge, expertise and capacity in order to continuously improve the quality of services.

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