Public Sector: Councils seek help for environmental tasks

Two local authorities have brought in external PR support to assist on environmental issues, as the Government continues to frown upon councils hiring PR agencies.

Quantum Public Relations has been drafted in to support Kent local authority Ashford Borough Council to raise awareness of recycling. Quantum was appointed to work with the council's in-house comms team following a competitive pitch.

In addition, Enfield Council is using Green Issues, a public engagement specialist, to lead on a consultation around the restoration of local landmark Broomfield House.

The news comes as the Department for Communities and Local Government's draft Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity goes through a period of consultation.

While the draft code does not directly stipulate against the use of PR agencies, it is understood that the DCLG takes a dim view of councils using agencies. Quantum's comms campaign includes a series of community roadshows, direct mail, media relations, press and radio ads, and posters. The campaign runs until the end of February.

Quantum MD Charlie Vavasour said: 'Ashford needs to increase its recycling rate, not just to help the environment but also to save money, and we are extremely confident that this campaign will help the council achieve its objective.'

As it pushes ahead with plans to restore Broomfield House, Enfield Council has hired agency support to help it consult with residents, users of the park, conservation advisory groups and councillors.

A statement from Enfield Council stated: 'Consultants Faithfull & Gould have sub-contracted a range of professional firms needed to prepare the applications.'

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