EDITORIAL: Embracing councils as a PR whole

The code under which local government press officers currently work was drawn up over a decade ago, when they operated in a very different landscape from today.

The code under which local government press officers currently work

was drawn up over a decade ago, when they operated in a very different

landscape from today.



For instance, the code prohibits councils from using their publicity

budget to comment on issues not directly relevant to their own

function.



And councils can be taken to court for breaking the rules. However, with

the changes the Government is planning to introduce within the next two

years, town halls will be encouraged to act as champions for their

residents in all areas, whether it be on council, police or health

issues.



The select committee scrutinising the Local Government Bill which will

bring in these changes has suggested to the Government that it review

the code so that PR departments can cope with them. If town halls are to

have the freedom they need to sell new Labour’s agenda for change an

update of the code is vital.



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