Public Sector: The public sector week

London Communications Agency director Luke Blair writes this week's column about mergers among hospitals, health authorities and councils.

To read the column, go to prweek.com/uk

Essex County Council has appointed Sue Appleby as interim head of comms on a three-month contract, starting in January. Appleby has formerly worked in the same role at Peterborough City Council and the London Borough of Brent. The role at Essex was previously held by Giles Roca, who moved to work as head of government affairs at Westminster City Council in July.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is using a YouTube video of a fire spreading through a festive home in under two minutes, to make residents aware of the danger of not checking their fire alarms. The video is being circulated on Twitter and Facebook as part of the service's Celebrate Safer campaign.

The Audit Commission's former MD for comms and public reporting, David Walker, received a redundancy payment of £10,178.54. Walker was also given eight weeks' payment in lieu of notice of £20,357.08, it was revealed during parliamentary questions.

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