TfL plots agency search amid recruitment drive

Transport for London is to undertake a search for a public affairs consultancy as it beefs up its lobbying capacity in-house.

The capital’s transport body is recruiting for three newly created chief public affairs officer posts, covering London Underground, surface transport and corporate.

The triumvirate will report to head of government and stakeholder relations William Parkes, TfL’s top lobbyist since director of PA Sandy Walkington left (PRWeek, 10 March). TfL said it has no plans to replace Walkington. It is also looking for PA managers to report to the chief PA officers; the ones for LU and ‘surface’ will feed into existing stakeholder teams.

Regarding PA agency needs, Parkes said: ‘We’re not using consultants just now, but we will look at our requirements as this organisational change goes through – we’ll consider what support we need and make a decision by autumn.’

The drive comes as TfL seeks to boost preparedness for the Government’s comprehensive spending review and secure Government support for Crossrail, the proposed cross-London train link. It argues that the huge
investment needed for Crossrail will be offset by a surge in passenger numbers, while firms have agreed to increases in business rates to help shoulder the cost.

TfL is also eager to bolster the awareness and standing of Peter Hendy, who became commissioner in February.
The body wants to build support to deliver its 20-year vision to keep Londoners moving in the face of huge growths in population and commuting.

Called ‘Transport 2025’, it includes asking large employers to stagger working hours to cut rush-hour congestion, and encouraging people to cycle to work.

TfL is still selecting agencies for its consumer roster, a process that began in the spring (PRWeek, 30 March).

Parkes has been at TfL since August 2001, initially working in the press office.

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