Nottingham council appoints PR head

Nottingham City Council has promoted Ruby Bhattal to lead comms following the voluntary redundancy of the former director amid accusations of misuse of funds.

Nottingham City Hall
Nottingham City Hall

Bhattal has been promoted to the newly created role of head of comms and marketing as part of an internal restructure.

The move comes as the council investigates claims that former director of comms and marketing Stephen Barker used council taxpayers' money to support Labour campaigns.

Barker dismissed these claims in PRWeek in January, labelling them 'a lot of nonsense' and a 'conspiracy'.

Bhattal described the role, which will include promoting local events and communicating the implications of benefit fraud, as 'diverse and exciting'.

She said: 'Immediate priorities will be around supporting all areas of work contributing to the council's economic growth plan - with a focus on creating the right environment in the city for investment.'

The new job follows 13 years for Bhattal at the council, which she joined as marketing assistant for leisure and cultural services.

Allegations against Barker arose after the Nottingham Post revealed two comms documents it claimed showed the Labour Party and council co-ordinating publicity campaigns ahead of the election in 2007.

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