PUBLIC SECTOR: Enfield launches full-scale comms review

Uncertainty is set to continue for the London Borough of Enfield's

troubled PR team.



The team has already been without key senior staff for most of the year

and was the subject of a damning government report into its

operations.



The council has now revealed that a full-scale review to decide on its

future has been launched, and a temporary management team has been put

in place, pending the outcome in January.



The review, being handled in-house, coincides with the council finally

severing its ties with head of marketing and communications Ashley

Gibbins, who left suddenly in June.



Head of human resources Angela O'Connor, who the PR team reports to

until the review is complete, is remaining tightlipped regarding

Gibbin's departure.



However, she did say an agreement between Gibbins and the council was

reached within the last month: 'He has left by mutual agreement, that

has been decided recently. Any other details are confidential.'



Gibbins is now working full time for his East London-based consultancy

William Jack Communications, with partner Ivor Watkins, a former head of

press at the GLC.



As part of the temporary management structure, headed by O'Connor, the

day-to-day running of the PR team is being handled by marketing manager

Joanna Popadopolous.



Aside from Gibbin's absence, the council has also been without a

communications manager since the beginning of the year, when Tino

Hernandez quit the role to join the Department of Trade and

Industry.



The PR function at Enfield had come under fierce criticism in a report

compiled by the Improvement and Development Agency. The report slammed

the council for being too wary of the local press and channelling all

media enquiries and PR work through a small team.



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