CIPR vows 'local services appreciation' campaign

The CIPR Local Government Group’s newly appointed chairman has pledged to use communications to urge the public not to take local services for granted.

DTW board director Robin Treacher said: 'People expect the dustman to come, they expect meals on wheels to turn up.

'Part of the reason the public can feel disillusioned with local services is that they take them for granted. I want to encourage press officers and the media who deal with local government to put this appreciation back into comms.'

Treacher replaces Pat Gaudin, head of comms at Chelmsford Borough Council, who was in the role for three years. He is the first external consultant to chair the group, with all previous chairs having come from in-house roles in councils.

On Tuesday, a new committee met for the first time to plan the group's upcoming annual conference in Belfast on 20-23 September.
BBC Northern Ireland correspondent Dennis Murray will be a keynote speaker, while Belfast City Council media manager Wilma Stewart will share her experience of dealing with the world's media at the time of George Best's funeral.

Other topics for discussion will include learning from local PROs who have worked through the Northern Ireland troubles, in an examination of crisis communications.

A talk on changing society's behaviour is also planned, using Belfast's experience of the smoking ban.

New committee appointments include Hammersmith and Fulham comms manager Mike Browne as vice-chair and Forest of Dean District Council comms officer Tony Wisdom as treasurer.

Treacher founded specialist local government PR and communications agency DTW in 1988.

Before that he worked in PR at Hackney, Leicester City and Cleveland Borough councils. He has been a member of the CIPR Local Government committee for more than 20 years.

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