News in brief

APPOINTMENT: The Northern Ireland Office has awarded DCL Drury Communications a three-year £100,000 contract to handle media enquiries and explain the work of the Parades Commission. The commission was set up in 1998 to make decisions on contentious parades in the province by the loyalist Orange Order.

APPOINTMENT: The Independent Police Complaints Commission, the newly created body that replaces the Police Complaints Authority next month, has appointed Julie Hollings as its interim communications director. Hollings, a former public relations chief at the London Borough of Haringey and the Isle of Wight Council, will cover the role until January 2005 when permanent postholder Sarah Clifford returns from maternity leave.

NEWHAM: Over 40 summons have been issued to retailers selling restricted goods to under-18s since Newham London Borough Council launched its underage sales awareness PR campaign last October. The team has been using Newham Youth Parliament as volunteers attempting to purchase goods as well as visiting retailers to let them know they can ask for ID cards.

APPOINTMENT: Grant Riches Communication Consultants has appointed Katrina Dunbar as senior consultant to bolster its offering in the public sector. Dunbar is former head of media at homeless charity Shelter, where she ran its 30th anniversary campaign. Before joining Grant Riches she worked as a freelance PR consultant on the launch of the Local Government Association and various educational charities and handled PR for the Millennium Volunteers project.

WESTMINSTER: Westminster City Council is to promote ‘al fresco dining’ in Leicester Square and better street management in the centre of London as part of its Come Back to the West End promotional initiative to boost business and tourist attractions. A media relations campaign will target home counties media outlets.

ENERGY: Gavin Anderson has released a research document, Investing in Renewable Energy, following its work with the Department of Trade and Industry this week. It is the first survey on renewable energy focusing exclusively on the investment community in a drive to promote renewables. Sixty City institutions and advisers took part.

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