Public Sector: Aiken warns councils over snow threat

Councils need to be prepared for disruptive snowfalls that hit local authorities for the past two winters, a top council comms man has warned.

Westminster City Council director of comms and strategy Alex Aiken writes in this week's public sector column that the reputation of local public services has been improving since the snow in January, but this could be 'tested to the limits' by a heavy winter.

Aiken goes on to list four threats to council reputations during winter, including a perceived reduction in value for money.

'As many people have less cash and the consequences of static wages and rising food and fuel prices increase, they will look hard at their council tax bills and wonder whether they are getting value for money,' writes Aiken.

'The average bill of £1,439 represents the cost of a family holiday. It's one of the biggest household purchases. Demonstrating what this pays for - pensioner care services, children's schooling and clean streets - should be the central goal of every local government PRO from now until when council tax is set next March.'

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