Government's purge of quangos places comms jobs at risk

Forty-eight comms staff are expected to lose their jobs after the Government's ann­ouncement that it is set to scrap the Audit Commission, in the latest instalment of its bonfire of the quangos.

Cuts: 48 Audit Commission comms jobs
Cuts: 48 Audit Commission comms jobs

The Audit Commission’s 48 comms staff are led by managing director for comms and public reporting David Walker. A spokesman for the quango said it was prepared for redundancies when the quango is decommissioned in 2012.

The majority of comms staff are based in London and Bristol, but others are based in Bolton, Leeds and Leicester.

The news follows the announcement that the UK Film Council is being closed, which will see four comms staff losing their jobs. The movie quango has been the focus of a high-profile media campaign against its closure, with Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg speaking out.

UK Film Council head of comms Oliver Rawlins said that while the body had been handling a comms strategy relying on third-party advocacy, no-one from his team liaised with Eastwood and Spielberg to invite them to make their comments.

‘We’ve ensured that the message has been simple, clear and consistent: this is a terrible decision that disregards the commercial benefits of the UK Film Council, the significant revenues it has generated over the years and the risks to the UK film industry and the wider economy of pulling the rug out now,’ said Rawlins.

In addition, the quango has seen grassroots support in the shape of 50,000 members joining a Facebook group.

Other quangos to be scrapped include the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, with a comms team of seven, led by John Harrison.

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