The London Borough of Southwark's PR chief James Flynn is to
Flynn is leaving in January to join public sector specialist consultancy
Marina Pirotta Communications.
MPC's high-profile clients include the Department for Transport, Local
Government and the Regions.
It is understood that the council is not immediately launching a hunt
for a replacement, with communications to be headed by media relations
manager Kirsty Senior, and publications and marketing manager Elizabeth
Thompson, in the interim.
Flynn, who is also vice-chairman of the Institute of Public Relations
local government group, heads Southwark's nine-strong communications
team, and reports to head of customer relations, consultation and
communications Amanda Hurst.
He is the first full-time account-handling staff hire for MPC, which was
founded by Marina Pirotta earlier this year. Flynn joins as a
Flynn joined Southwark two years ago from Hackney council where he was
deputy to Pirotta, a former PR chief at Hackney and Brent councils.
He has also worked in PR for London Underground and Newham council.
During his time at Southwark he set up the communications unit and
handled media relations for the council during the aftermath of the
death of Damilola Taylor.
The fatal stabbing of ten-year-old Damilola in Peckham one year ago
generated a wave of negative media reports surrounding crime and safety
Flynn said: 'Leaving Southwark was a difficult decision to make but
consultancy work was something I had been considering for some time.
This is the next step up for me at this stage in my career.'
Together with consultancy Grant Riches, MPC is creating a tool kit for
the DTLR to help underachieving council PR teams. Polling firm Mori is
also involved in the project.
There are plans to establish a forum of councillors who are in
opposition from across Britain, to see how local authorities can better
promote themselves as corporate identities.
Grant Riches founder Carol Grant said the aim was not to suppress
criticism of councils' ruling groups.