Ex-Warrington man fills top position at Barnsley

Former Warrington Council head of comms Bob Williams has taken Barnsley's top PR position.

Leading a team of eight, Williams reports to Barnsley Council assistant chief executive Richard Fryer.

He is the first head of comms at the authority since Joanne Savage stepped down from the post 18 months ago. In the interim, the council's comms team has reported to Fryer.

Williams said: ‘Joining Barnsley gives me an opportunity to work on major regeneration projects and the Building Schools for the Future programme, which will see eight new schools built in the region.'

He added that as a Metropolitan Borough, Barnsley is a bigger authority than Warrington with a larger comms function.

The South Yorkshire borough has a population of 200,000 and, like many parts of the region, is famous for its coal-mining past. But all pits are now closed and the past few years have brought several regeneration initiatives.

A restructure at Warring­ton last autumn saw Williams move from the head of comms role, a position he had held for eight years, to that of senior marketing manager (PRWeek, 1 Sep 2006). The rejig followed a review of the authority's comms unit by local government specialist DTW.

SEPARATELY... Warrington has hired Caroline Jones as head of strategic communications. She joined at the end of last year from Passenger Focus - the consumer body for rail passengers - where she was comms director.

She oversees a corporate comms team of six and is overseeing the council's rebrand, which takes effect in April. She reports to the head of the chief executive's unit Jan Souness.

Warrington is also on the hunt for Will­iams' replacement, but the job title for the recruit is yet to be confirmed, said Jones.

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