The Public Sector week

MMU to offer course for local government communicators; Twitter success for Newcastle.

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), with The CIPR Public Services Group, is launching a qualification for local government communicators. 'Second Steps' is the UK's first qualification for local government PROs moving into comms management. The postgraduate level course will run from 10-12 June at MMU, for those who have been in PR for two or more years, or outstanding practitioners with less experience.

The Intellectual Property Office has appointed Eulogy to support its sponsorship of the 'Wallace and Gromit's World of Cracking Ideas' exhibition at the Science Museum.

Hillingdon Council's recent survey has revealed that 75 per cent of residents feel well informed about the council, up from 40 per cent in 2006-07. Sixty-eight per cent of Londoners felt informed in the Survey of Londoners 2006-07, carried out by London Councils.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has appointed Jill Finney as its new director of engagement from her role as strategic marketing and comms director at the British Library. Finney is the wife of CQC transition director David Lane, but a spokesperson said that Lane was not involved in the recruitment process.

Newcastle City Council claims to be the first council to announce an election result live on Twitter. The results for the Fenham ward by-election were sent to 'followers' of the council through the website or on their mobile phones as soon as they were announced.

West Sussex County Council has appointed Upward Curve PR to support a strategic review of its £15m government-funded Supporting People (SP) programme. The SP scheme aims to enable vulnerable people 'with housing needs' to live independently in the community. Upward Curve will be developing a communications strategy and providing practical support for the two-year review.

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