Islington Council is to axe half of the staff in its eight-strong
communications department, putting the job of head of communications
Fiona Nicol under threat, as part of a cost-led shake up at the
According to Liberal Democrat councillor Laura Willoughby, the
communications team was targeted as part of a wider manifesto commitment
to trim back administrative areas they saw as overweight when the
borough moved to Lib Dem control in January.
Willoughby said the council had not yet worked out how much money it
will save from the cut-backs. When they are complete all communications
responsibility will be devolved back to individual service areas, with
members of staff in each department taking control for communications
from that department.
The remaining central team of four will support each department’s
communications work, deal with council-wide communications and new media
communications. The future of Nicol is not decided.
Nicol has been in the post just seven months after being headhunted to
lead the upgraded corporate PR role which has responsibility for
marketing and communications across the council.
Islington’s plans to downgrade communications come at a time when
councils across the UK are making a special effort to upgrade the
importance of communications in anticipation of new legislation which
demands higher levels of consultation and communication in local