Hackney Council scoops five awards at CIPR local public services awards

The CIPR local public services awards saw Hackney Council crowned communicators of the year while winning four other awards, after a year that saw them grapple with the riots and swingeing cuts.

Polly Toynbee: Guardian columnist
Polly Toynbee: Guardian columnist

The riot-hit London borough stole the night at the Excellence in Communications Awards ceremony that took place at the CIPR’s headquarters in London last night, with other big winners including Northamptonshire County Council and North East Derbyshire Council.

During the associated conference yesterday - headlined ‘Hard Times’ - The Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee told the audience: ‘You have one of the hardest jobs in this age of austerity in the public sector. To keep explaining to the public what’s happening, while keeping their trust and belief in the value of public services, is an extremely important job.’

Hackney was handed the communicators of the year (large team) award; along with best campaign for ‘making the 2011 census count for Hackney’; publication, leaflet or flyer of the year; external newspaper or magazine (over 60,000 circulation) for Hackney Today; and census communication, jointly with Southwark Council.

Hackney interim assistant chief executive for communications Carl Welham said: ‘Having a reduced funding by 40 per cent over three years, we’ve still managed to maintain an outstanding quality in campaigns and PR. Along with that we’ve had massive challenges such as the London disturbances.’

Northamptonshire County Council won three awards for media relations, consultation and digital excellence.

Other winners of the evening included North East Derbyshire which won communicators of the year (small team); Wokingham Borough Council which won external newspaper or magazine (under 60,000 circulation) for Wokingham Borough News; and Edinburgh Council which won PR on a shoestring.

Monmouthshire County Council’s Jessica Roberts won young communicator of the year.

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