Rotherham Council is drafting in Eileen Brookes, the Yorkshire
Post’s chief reporter for South Yorkshire, as its first communications
Brookes joins as the council increasingly comes under fire from the
local and national media for its social problems, which include some of
the highest levels of poverty and teenage pregnancy in Europe.
Switching sides from being one of the council’s fiercest critics in the
local media, Brookes will take on responsibility for Rotherham’s
internal and external communications strategy. She will advise the
newly-formed council cabinet on media activity, reporting directly to
chief executive Alan Carruthers.
She will head a nine-strong team, bringing together previously disparate
functions such as publications and the press office. The post was
created earlier this year after a communications audit last autumn by
specialist local government consultant Veronica Crichton and London
agency Campaign Communications.
Assistant chief executive Chris Mallender believes he has pulled off
something of a coup in enticing Brookes to the council, and in turning
around the borough’s communications department during the past year.
He said: ’We had a long way to go and we have come a long way in a short
time. We are very pleased with the appointment we have made.’