Help me help & reach out to people across the South West!

Campaigning for the European parliamentary elections in May

Following my election to the European Parliament in May as one of the Liberal Democrat MEPs for the South West of England and Gibraltar, I want to appoint two members of my team to work in my home base of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

The PA/engagement officer will be responsible for managing email traffic, my UK diary and outreach to audiences across the South West. The caseworker/researcher will help me handle research technical queries and casework, ensuring everyone who gets in touch with me gets a really well-informed and useful response.

Both jobs are offered on a full or part-time basis and will probably be located in Cheltenham.

Contracts will be dependent on the mandate of the MEPs, currently expected to last until 31 October 2019. They will be renewable dependent on Brexit negotiations, with a start date as soon as possible.  Travel around the South West region and occasional travel to Brussels may be involved.
Both positions will involve working closely with other MEP team members in England and Brussels.

I aim to be an equal opportunities employer and would like to positively encourage a diverse range of applications.

PA & engagement officer

Probably part-time or reduced hours but full-time may be considered for the right candidate. £26,000 pro rata.

Cheltenham, with significant homeworking, possible travel to Bristol or sometimes Brussels.

Key responsibilities

  • Manage my incoming email and messaging across other platforms, ensuring all genuine messages are acknowledged, triaged and forwarded to the best person and/or replied to and in every case receive a friendly and appropriate response
  • Manage any incoming UK mail and telephone messages and again ensure it is responded to appropriately
  • Manage my UK diary
  • Work in co-ordination with my Brussels-based staff, my caseworker/researcher in Cheltenham and the staff I share with fellow MEP Caroline Voaden: our office manager, communications manager and digital media officer.
  • Seek out opportunities for engagement with multiple general public audiences across the South West including schools, colleges, business places, professional associations, NGOs and political groups with an interest in Europe, cultural, artistic and scientific institutions and organisations.
  • Liaise with other MEPs and MEP staff in the South West, in the Liberal Democrat European Parliamentary Party, Renew Europe Group and across the Parliament, with UK ministers, MPs and councillors and their staff, departments and officers, and with other decision-makers, institutions and public bodies
  • In co-operation with the communications team, liaise with journalists and media outlets
  • To support other members of the team in their duties

Skills and experience

  • At least two years’ experience in a comparable PA or engagement role, ideally in a political or comparably sensitive context;
  • Significant experience of handling high volumes of consumer or constituent email in an efficient, sensitive and friendly way;
  • Outstanding organisational skills;
  • Patient and friendly manner in dealing with members of the public in particular but also media and decision-makers, etc;
  • Outstanding written English, good grammar and the ability to draft and give extremely clear explanations and responses to a wide variety of audiences;
  • Accurate typing essential, fast typing (at least 50wpm) an advantage;
  • Good working knowledge of MS Outlook and ideally of Apple computers and productivity tools such as Google calendars, Dropbox, Slack and WhatsApp;
  • Knowledge of other EU languages such as French an advantage;
  • Ability to work independently but also collaboratively as part of a dispersed team based in several locations and including liaison via electronic communication. Ideally experience of actually doing this;
  • A degree of understanding – and ideally experience – of current political issues and the work of an elected representative;
  • Patient, positive attitude;
  • Ability to start straight away an advantage.

Please send a covering letter and CV (maximum two pages) by 17:00 on 12 July 2019 to linda@martinhorwood.net with the subject heading “PA”.

Interviews will be held on 22 or 25 July in Cheltenham.

Caseworker/researcher

£26,000 pa. Full-time but a degree of part-time working or reduced hours is possible for the right candidate.

Cheltenham, with significant homeworking, likely travel to Bristol and across the South West and possibly Brussels.

Key responsibilities

  • To provide well-informed, accurate and positive responses to political and technical queries and casework in connection with my work as an MEP;
  • To deal positively and supportively with individual constituents, businesses or organisations that bring casework to the team, if necessary meeting them in person, corresponding with them and on their behalf with parliamentary and decision-making authorities and sometimes accompanying them to meetings or representations, in order to achieve the best possible outcome for them;
  • To liaise with my Accredited Parliamentary Assistants in Brussels, Parliamentary research services, other Renew Europe or Liberal Democrat European Parliamentary Party staff and with the rest of my MEP team as required;
  • To source technical information about current and prospective EU law, regulation and funding, and relevant UK government policy, including in relation to various versions of a possible British exit from the European Union, and their impact on individuals, businesses, services and organisations in the South West and Gibraltar;
  • To deal with decision-making authorities in relation to this casework, including the European Commission and other European bodies, UK Government and its agencies, Government of Gibraltar, south west councils and agencies, businesses and health and care services;
  • To liaise with other elected representatives and their teams, including MPs, councillors and other MEPs;
  • To brief me and other members of my team such as the communications manager and digital media officer clearly and accurately on the outcome of this research and casework, and its implications for individuals, businesses, services and organisations in the South West and Gibraltar; to further brief constituents, media, other staff and specialists as required.
  • To support other members of the team in their duties

Skills and experience

  • A good research-oriented university degree – and ideally a higher degree – or at least two years’ demonstrable experience in an equally demanding research-oriented environment;
  • Experience of dealing with a variety of people and organisations in an efficient, sensitive and friendly way in a consumer- or constituent-facing role, ideally experience of dealing with confidential casework;
  • Ideally, proven experience of dealing sensitively with difficult people and/or challenging behaviour
  • Good personal organisational skills and the ability to prioritise and deliver projects without close supervision;
  • The ability to work well under pressure and to deadlines;
  • Excellent communications skills and in particular the ability to clearly explain complex subject matter to lay audiences such as constituents, journalists and other elected representatives
  • Some knowledge of MS Outlook and ideally of Apple computers and productivity tools such as Google calendars, Dropbox, Slack and WhatsApp;
  • Knowledge of other EU languages such as French an advantage;
  • Ability to work independently but also collaboratively as part of a dispersed team based in several locations and including liaison via electronic communication. Ideally experience of actually doing this;
  • A degree of understanding – and ideally experience – of current political issues and the work of an elected representative;
  • Patient, positive attitude;
  • Full driving licence and possibility of using own car for work;
  • Ability to start straight away an advantage.

Please send a covering letter, CV (maximum two pages) and one example of your own clear lay summary of any complex subject matter by 17:00 on 12 July 2019 to linda@martinhorwood.net with the subject heading “caseworker”.

Interviews will be held on 22 or 25 July in Cheltenham.