Public sector news in brief

LANCASHIRE: Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety has hit back at criticism over its PR spend. Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans spoke out in the local press about the body’s PR budget for last year of £260,000. But a partnership spokeswoman told PRWeek: ‘PR initiatives are educational initiatives – there to change people’s driving behaviour and attitudes towards speed.’ Evans was unavailable for comment.

CAMPAIGN: Morning commuters in London were given free mini radios at Canning Town, East Ham and Stratford stations this week to promote the launch of a community radio station for the London Borough of Newham. Thousands of radios were also handed to visitors to the Newham Show last week to ensure people tune into BreakFM Newham, broadcasting on 101.5FM from 3-30 August.

CAMPAIGN: Pupils across the UK are being encouraged to take their local councillors to school as part of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) campaign to promote Local Democracy Week from 18-24 October. A leaflet is being distributed in a bid to get councillors and young people together so councillors can learn more about students and their issues and interests; in turn, councillors can explain their role, and that of councils, to children.

STEVENAGE: Stevenage Borough Council has taken the first steps of a campaign to get local people involved in planning local services, having hosted a community conference called ‘Let’s Talk’. MORI Research ran the one-day conference for the council, which was attended by a representative sample of more than 100 residents from all areas of the town.

APPOINTMENT: Public sector specialist PR agency Omobono has appointed Tim Blanchard as head of media relations. A former senior consultant at Communications Management, Blanchard reports to MD Ben Dansie at the eight-strong Cambridge agency and works on accounts including the East of England Development Agency and the London Development Agency.

CAMPAIGN: Lancashire County Council Social Services has further bolstered its campaign to recruit more foster carers. Potential carers can now get information and advice via a website and freephone number. The site, www.fosteringinlancashire.co.uk, was recently endorsed by the Children’s Minister, Margaret Hodge.

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