Public Sector: Basildon chief slams traveller PR tactics

Basildon Council's head of comms has claimed that the 'emotive' campaigning by supporters of the Dale Farm traveller camp threatens to seriously damage the council's reputation.

Eighty-six families are set to be evicted within the next fortnight from the camp in Basildon, Essex, after the High Court refused an application for a temporary injunction that would have delayed it.

Basildon Council's comms has been led by interim head of comms Cormac Smith, an employee of Westminster Council, which is currently overseeing the Essex district council's PR operation.

Smith's comments were reported on (2 September). He said there was a 'huge amount of misinformation' in the media, such as suggestions that the council will cut off the camp's gas and electricity. He added that the media's use of the term 'ethnic cleansing' had been 'extremely unhelpful'.

Smith said: 'The campaigners are fighting on emotional terms. They use women and children to tell their story.'

Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave has been a high-profile campaigner for the travellers. She said: 'Evicting these families would be totally unreasonable and irresponsible. The council has said there are no alternatives but there are alternatives.'

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Growing number of clients plan PR budget increases

Growing number of clients plan PR budget increases

The number of marketers planning to increase their PR budgets during 2014 has climbed, according to the latest quarterly Bellwether survey by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations tomorrow

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations tomorrow

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home after a second day of deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Champagne producer Charles Heidsieck appoints Story PR