The latest public sector news, opinion and features

News and news analysis

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman on lookout for comms advisers

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman on lookout for comms advisers

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has issued a tender for seven advisers to controversial mayor Lutfur Rahman, with a value of up to £1.2m in total.

Harrow Council in £3m hunt for comms support over "bad PR" from cuts

Harrow Council in £3m hunt for comms support over "bad PR" from cuts

Harrow Council has issued a tender for internal and external comms services as it seeks to weather £75m of cuts over the next five years.

Haringey Council hires Simon Jones amid £1bn redevelopment effort

Haringey Council hires Simon Jones amid £1bn redevelopment effort

Haringey Council has hired Simon Jones to lead comms as parts of the borough undergo major redevelopment.

Brent Council appoints Rob Mansfield to lead comms amid £100m cuts effort

Brent Council appoints Rob Mansfield to lead comms amid £100m cuts effort

Brent Council has called in Rob Mansfield to lead comms as it grapples with the prospect of having to make £100m in cuts.

Police ignored own press policy to smear officer, tribunal finds

Police ignored own press policy to smear officer, tribunal finds

The Metropolitan Police ignored its own press policy to deliberately smear a police officer who brought a successful claim of race and sex discrimination against the force, a tribunal has found.

Tower Hamlets spends £128,000 to counter BBC Panorama programme

Tower Hamlets Council spent £128,000 of taxpayers' money on PR and lawyers as part of attempts to first block a BBC programme about its controversial mayor, Lutfur Rahman, and then train Rahman to appear on it.

Rotherham child abuse scandal prompts warning to 'leak-chasing' councils

Rotherham child abuse scandal prompts warning to 'leak-chasing' councils

The Times journalist who helped uncover the Rotherham child abuse scandal has attacked Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of previous inquiries and warned its successors not to be "tempted to chase leaks rather than act on their failings".

Hundreds of police social media slips brought to light

Hundreds of police social media slips brought to light

A senior comms figure has defended the use of social media by police after it emerged forces in England and Wales have conducted 828 investigations into the use of social media by staff over the past five years.

Aberdeen City Council embraces publicity over 'Newshite' blunder

Aberdeen City Council embraces publicity over 'Newshite' blunder

Aberdeen City Council has welcomed the global publicity generated by a "somewhat amusing" error on the cover of its magazine for housing tenants, Newsbite.

Moves to support Twitter-friendly council meetings get industry thumbs-up

Moves to support Twitter-friendly council meetings get industry thumbs-up

LGcommunications has stood in solidarity with new government moves to stop local authorities banning the public from tweeting or filming at council meetings.

Fire safety partnership drive "not a bad deal for the public"

Fire safety partnership drive "not a bad deal for the public"

The Department for Communities and Local Government is promoting its fire safety message for just £30,000 by teaming up with the marketers of kids' movie How To Train Your Dragon 2.

Matt Tee appointed as new press regulator's first chief executive

Matt Tee appointed as new press regulator's first chief executive

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has appointed Matt Tee, the former permanent secretary for government comms, as its first chief executive.

Government leaves Unity vacancy unfilled

Government leaves Unity vacancy unfilled

The Government will not be replacing Unity on its PR roster following the agency quitting in protest at what it dubbed a "fundamentally flawed" system.

Former COI team to help raise profile of Emergency Planning Society

Former COI team to help raise profile of Emergency Planning Society

Bob Wade Media has won a contract to provide a media and comms service for the Emergency Planning Society.

Opinion and features

Close ties essential for social workers and press office colleagues

Close ties essential for social workers and press office colleagues

The heat generated by two recent child protection stories shows the need for better relations between social care workers and their press offices.

Birth of a new body

Birth of a new body

This week the CIPR introduces a new package of measures helping PR women navigate maternity leave. Board member and chair of the Professional Practices Committe Sarah Hall explains why this is so important.

Being an informal whistleblower should be part of the job description - in theory

Being an informal whistleblower should be part of the job description - in theory

Former Walsall Council senior press officer Dan Slee reflects on how public sector communicators should react to bad news such as the catalogue of sexual abuse uncovered in Rotherham.

Review: Salmond vs Darling debate lights up Scottish independence battle

Review: Salmond vs Darling debate lights up Scottish independence battle

The Scottish independence campaign kicked off for real last night with a TV debate between First Minister Alex Salmond and former Chancellor Alistair Darling.

Taking the fear out of networking

Taking the fear out of networking

Ex-european director of external communications at Coca-Cola Enterprises, Debbie Spitz, shares her tips on how to get the best from, and even enjoy, networking.

We are fishing out the hidden communicators

We are fishing out the hidden communicators

You don't need to be Machiavellian to rid departments of unaccountable 'embedded' communicators.

How today's select committees could be a formidable force

How today's select committees could be a formidable force

Select committees now have a high profile and an effect on public policy. But there's still room for improvement.

The three 'must-dos' for crisis communicators

The three 'must-dos' for crisis communicators

A council's reputation can be destroyed in a few hours if you aren't prepared and fail to move fast during a crisis.

Hague's 'Brangelina' stunt distracts public from the real issue

Hague's 'Brangelina' stunt distracts public from the real issue

'Team Hague' failed to make the right impression when its message got lost among 'Brangelina' fever

Seeing red: Local government needs to regain trust, not lose it

Seeing red: Local government needs to regain trust, not lose it

Stop telling us to 'spin' says Cormac Smith, chairman of LGcommunications.

Switching to part-time

Switching to part-time

London Communications Agency director Suzi Lawrence has worked three days a week since returning from maternity leave in May 2013. Here, she and LCA co-founder Jonny Popper discuss the process by which they have both made this work.

Leaders in communications

6 November 2014, London

Designed by leaders in comms for leaders in comms, this event offers a unique opportunity to tackle the most persistent challenges faced at the very top of communications.

www.leadersincomms.com

Recent public sector people moves

World Bank hires Jeremy Hillman for top comms role amid $400m savings effort

World Bank hires Jeremy Hillman for top comms role amid $400m savings effort

The World Bank has hired Jeremy Hillman from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to lead comms as it seeks to "tell a strong story" about its role in global affairs amid a major restructure.

Uber hires former top Obama aide Plouffe to oversee comms, policy

Uber hires former top Obama aide Plouffe to oversee comms, policy

David Plouffe "will be managing all global policy and political activities, communications, and Uber branding efforts," the company's CEO, Travis Kalanick, wrote in a blog post on the hire.

Huntsworth CEO Lord Chadlington: Why I am stepping down

Huntsworth CEO Lord Chadlington: Why I am stepping down

Lord Chadlington has denied that a shareholder revolt led to him stepping down as CEO of Huntsworth, stating he made the decision to depart last year.

Client budgets on the rise as agency optimism grows in Q2

Client budgets on the rise as agency optimism grows in Q2

New business and client spending are on the rise for PR agencies but over-servicing continues to present a problem, the PRCA's latest Consultancy Barometer has revealed.

Edelman brings on former senators Gregg, Conrad in adviser roles

Edelman brings on former senators Gregg, Conrad in adviser roles

Both will offer public policy advice and communications counsel to corporate, association, and nonprofit clients in the newly created roles.

Fishburn expands public affairs team with Downing Street hire

Fishburn expands public affairs team with Downing Street hire

Fishburn has expanded its public affairs team with the appointment of Downing Street press officer Ben Crosland as an associate director.

Senior Tories take spads with them to new roles

Senior Tories take spads with them to new roles

Several special advisers including former Hanover consultant James Wild are following their senior Conservative bosses to new departments.