Essex council comms probe

Labour councillors at Essex County Council are investigating the council's plans to launch a public affairs agency.

Essex council: Labour investigation
Essex council: Labour investigation

PRWeek recently revealed Essex council's comms team - led by head of comms Giles Roca - is launching an agency named Essex Communications (PRWeek, 24 April).

It is intended the new agency will sell public relations and public affairs services to both the private and public sector.

Essex Labour group political adviser Chris Fegan said he was seeking to find out who had authorised the plans, adding that council officers should not attempt to capitalise on the council's Conservative connections.

Fegan said of Roca: 'He is saying the unique selling point of Essex Communications is its closeness to a Conservative government, which is in contravention of local government rules. An officer is supposed to be neutral. They work for all members of the council.'

Roca initially told PRWeek: 'People need to be in Westminster, and in the context of a change of Government, it is good to start lobbying the future Government.'

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