Local Government Association takes axe to top comms post

The Local Government Association has taken the decision not to hire a replacement group director of comms as it prepares for further public sector cuts.

Looking to consolidate comms: LGA
Looking to consolidate comms: LGA

The LGA’s comms chief Jenny Crighton left in July and the body that represents councils across England and Wales has decided not to appoint a successor.

Instead, LGA deputy chief executive Jo Miller will take on the additional role of leading the comms team. Miller returns to the LGA this week after a six-month secondment as interim chief executive at Doncaster Council.

Iain Wilton, programme director, media and public affairs, said: ‘We’re conscious of the pressure on local authority resources and that there will be more to come with the Comprehensive Spending Review. We’re doing anything we can to run a tight ship to maintain downward pressure on our members’ spending.’

Wilton himself is leaving the LGA to pursue a PhD at Queen Mary College. The LGA had not made a decision about seeking a replacement as PRWeek went to press.

Crighton left to spend time with her family. She was promoted to the role of director of comms earlier this year, after working as director of strategy and public affairs. But the LGA comms team has also seen two new additions in recent weeks.

Local government minister Grant Shapps responded: 'I welcome this u-turn by the LGA. It's important that the organisation leads from the front in these difficult economic times and exercises some prudence. The era of excess in local government is over. Councils can protect frontline services provided they are innovative and look in many instances to share services.'

Priya Nath has returned as a senior public affairs and campaigns officer, on secondment for a year from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and Tom Coales has joined as a senior public affairs and campaigns officer from Political Intelligence, where he was an account manager.

The news follows the redundancy of 13 staff at the LGA Group earlier this year, as part of a strategy to consolidate comms across the group.

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