London Fire Brigade comms head Richard Stokoe makes his role redundant

The outspoken head of London Fire Brigade comms, Richard Stokoe, is making his own role redundant and has called for other public sector PR chiefs to consider their positions.

Departing: Richard Stokoe is leaving his comms role in April
Departing: Richard Stokoe is leaving his comms role in April

Stokoe will leave in April without a job to go to as the service seeks to make cuts of about 20 per cent to its comms budget.

His departure will leave Glenn Sebright, the head of media and internal comms, and Marianne Saabye, the head of marketing comms, as the most senior staff.

Stokoe told PRWeek that, when given responsibility for the decision on how to cut back on costs, he decided that his role was the one that most needed to go and there were no other redundancies.

Stokoe joined the fire service in May 2010 following four years as head of news at the Local Government Association.

However, like other fire services across the country, it is having to make cuts.

‘When I looked at it, any other staff leaving would have had a direct impact. I set the strategy, which is now in place, so strategists are not needed. We need doers,’ said Stokoe.

Of public sector comms heads more widely, he added: ‘Unless there are real results in terms of delivering financial benefit, then people are going to have to look in the mirror very hard.

‘Comms departments have less and less money to do things, whether it’s campaigns or reaching out to people.

‘Now what counts is delivery of frontline services. In the local authorities, it is about getting money in, and if comms is not doing that then it should not be used.’

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