Public Sector: Lambeth plans vast reduction in comms

Lambeth Council is proposing to reduce its comms staff by more than half in order to make cuts of £720,000.

The 43-strong comms team will be reduced to 20 full-time employees.

Lambeth director of campaigns and comms Julian Ellerby said: 'The scale of the enormous cuts from central government means that every department in the council has to make cuts to services and it is right that comms plays its part.'

Ellerby added that the council would be 'focusing on a core set of resident communication projects to ensure that Lambeth residents remain informed', but would also need to 'manage their expectations when services they have relied on start to close'.

Currently, the comms division's net budget is £1.5m and it receives around £500,000 in revenue. The 2011/12 budget is to drop to £1.2m, with a further £80,000 income coming from design work. The Lambeth Life publication is to be axed.

The comms function will stop or significantly reduce its support for departmental staff conferences, ad hoc requests for projects or materials, updating of all internet and intranet content, and design of internal-facing documents.

Meanwhile, a Southwark Council report has 'agreed in principle' to sharing its comms service with Westminster City Council.

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