Public Sector: Shewell attacks 'paralysed' councils

Brighton & Hove City Council head of comms John Shewell has hit out at councils that he describes as 'paralysed' by limitations imposed on council publications.

Following the publication of new rules by the Department for Communities and Local Government earlier this month, it has emerged that at least eight councils now plan to scrap their publications.

Research by public sector think-tank LGinsight revealed that Richmond, East Riding and Northamptonshire councils announced plans to stop their residents' publications late last year.

Recently Bedford, Lambeth, Worthing, Adur and North Yorkshire councils announced plans to follow suit.

Dozens more are looking at scaling back how often they publish each year.

But in a column for PRWeek, Shewell argues that 'many senior comms people seem paralysed by issues that are irrelevant', and that the whole council publications debate is a 'non-issue'.

He adds: 'If I was cynical, I'd say it was a masterstroke by the Government to distract attention while it continues to press the case for reducing public sector spending.'

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