PUBLIC SECTOR: News in brief

WHITEHALL: The Cabinet Office has appointed senior civil servant Melanie Leech as interim director of communications following the departure of Leonie Austin in May (PRWeek, 28 May). It is hoped a permanent director at the Cabinet Office will be appointed by the end of the year.

LGIU: Local democracy think-tank the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) has launched a pamphlet, Barred From Politics, as part of its campaign to revamp the legislation that prevents many council employees from political activities. It makes the case for less draconian rules and follows the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s promise of a consultation paper on reforming the restrictions that were introduced in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

GREENWICH: The London Borough of Greenwich will celebrate diversity and promote racial harmony when it holds an Anti-Racist Festival (ARF) on 18 September on Plumstead Common. The ARF will include live music, including R’n’B act VS, DJs, community information and children’s entertainment.

CAMPAIGN: Cambridgeshire Police has devised a new way of communicating with truck drivers who are being targeted by thieves while they sleep in their cabs. A freight company has donated a number of lorries that carry the warning ‘Truckers Beware! This is a load theft Hotspot!’, which will be parked in problem areas.

EMPLOYMENT: The Pertemps Employment Alliance has hired Sutton Coldfield-based Paul Skipp Public Relations to help it promote its work through government welfare-to-work initiatives in the Birmingham and Solihull areas. Working to help the long-term unemployed back into full-time work, Pertemps has a total of nine development areas.

WAKEFIELD: Wakefield Metropolitan Council celebrated the first anniversary of Neighbourhood Action last week with a one-off event in the city centre. During the day of family entertainment, sports activities and a radio roadshow, the council promoted its campaign to keep the city litter free with an Ali G lookalike, telling people the importance of ‘Keepin’ it clean and Keepin’ it safe’. He also invited young people to win a prize for the best impersonations of his famous character on stage.

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