Southwark to slim down comms team

Southwark Borough Council is to slash the headcount in its comms department, making 20 of its comms staff redundant in May.

The decision follows a wide-reaching review of Southwark's communications operations carried out by the Westminster comms team. The review concluded Southwark needs to reduce its comms budget by a quarter.

Public sector PR professional Ian Farrow, MD of Jumping Dog Communications, has been managing the review on behalf of Westminster since January. Four Westminster members of staff are also involved.

Westminster head of comms Alex Aiken said no decision has yet been made about which comms staff would lose their jobs. He said: 'There will be a proper process of consultation. Southwark can achieve more PR cut-through with the more focused delivery of communications this review will bring.'

The announcement comes as part of a plan to centralise Southwark's communications operations into one unit.

Westminster's report states that efficiencies will be achieved through the 'rationalisation of corporate and departmental services... This will include savings of up to 25 per cent of the council's communications spend'.

The decision follows news that the borough's grant allocation will be reduced over the next three years, with 2008-09 seeing a cut of £4.4m in real terms.

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