The London council has made the swingeing cuts after a wide-reaching review of its comms operations carried out by the Westminster Council comms team. The review concluded Southwark needed to reduce its comms budget by a quarter (PRWeek, 22 February).
The surviving 30 comms staff have been centralised into a single department.
Southwark has appointed Westminster comms staffer Paul Masterman as interim head of comms. He is expected to lead the team for six months, after which a permanent leader will be hired.
The council is now seeking to appoint a head of media relations, a senior media officer and an e-communications manager within the next month.
Public sector PR professional Ian Farrow, MD of Jumping Dog Communications, has been managing the review for Westminster since January.
The announcement is part of a plan to centralise Southwark's comms into one unit. This follows news that the borough's grant allocation will be reduced over the next three years.