GLA to raise profile of Mayor Ken nationwide

London Mayor Ken Livingstone could be set to gain a higher profile

nationally as part of a communications strategy by the Greater London

Authority (GLA).



Charlotte Rowe, GLA director of communications wants to step up the

promotion of the 'case for London' to gain more cash from Treasury

coffers and to build a strong corporate reputation for the authority,

which was created last year.



Speaking at a conference of the Society of County and Unitary Public

Relations Officers (Scupro), she said that Livingstone, as a

high-profile figure, is vital to that success.



She said: 'We must be seen to be a success. We must vindicate the

decision to have regional assemblies. A successful first mayoralty is

crucial to the future of devolution.'



Although Livingstone is gaining a lot of media coverage locally, he is

failing to make a significant impact at a national level, according to

Rowe.



'People say why don't we see Ken anymore, but he is busy doing his job.

I don't think we've got that balance right. I don't think we are getting

enough coverage in the nationals.'



The authority is still recruiting to fill more than 15 communications

posts, including the post of head of media relations, which is being

covered in the interim by Neetinder Boparai.



Rowe said: 'We are still building the team, but we already have huge

targets and over the next six months you will see a lot more

activity.'



The authority is charged with overseeing a raft of services across

London, including transport, regeneration and strategic planning. As

mayor, Livingstone is the voice for London-wide issues and works

alongside and under the scrutiny of an assembly.



It is the first government body for London as a whole, since the

abolition of the GLC in 1986, which was also headed by Livingstone.



See Scupro report, p5.



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