After an eighteen-month search, the London Borough of Lewisham has
finally found a new head of corporate communications.
Fiona Nicol will join on 21 August - only eleven months after taking the
head of communications position at the London Borough of Islington.
Her decision to depart so soon is understood to be related to changes
instigated after Liberal Democrats took control of the council in
The party halved the communications team as part of a commitment to
cutting the administrative costs of the council (PR Week, 5 May). Nicol
declined to go into the issue, saying: ’I’ve been offered a fantastic
job at Lewisham. They’re very committed to communications.’
The last full-time head of corporate communications at Lewisham was Mark
Robinson, who left in 1998. In the interim, Paul Richards has been
acting as a consultant with responsibility for finding a replacement,
restructuring the communications department and day-to-day running of
the press office.
Nicol will head a team of 13, four of whom are still to be
Richards has now started a consultancy, with Lewisham Council as a
client during the handover period. He is retained by the Lewisham
Challenge Partnership and The Ladder recruitment web site.
Nicol was headhunted to the Islington Council position from Consolidated
Communications, where she was a board director heading Blockbuster and
British Territorial Army accounts (PR Week, 7 September 1999).
It was thought the position at Lewisham had been filled in January this
year, but a cross-party committee of councillors vetoed the appointment.