PUBLIC SECTOR: McKinlay quits UK Sport for Staffs County Council PR job

Staffordshire County Council has recruited UK Sport's PR chief to fill its newly created head of communications post.

Jacqui McKinlay, currently UK Sport communications manager, will join the council at the end of October.

The Staffordshire post has been created as part of a restructure that will see the PR and e-government teams merged.

The newly created communications team, which also includes the four-strong central PR team headed by county PRO Martin Watkins, will continue to be part of the corporate policy unit, which is within the directorate of corporate and consumer services.

A report to councillors earlier this year by corporate and consumer services director John Gregory said the restructure was crucial to speeding up attempts to meet e-government targets and developing the 'customer service end of activity'.

McKinlay, who reports to corporate policy head Ian Leivesley, said: 'It (Staffs' e-government) is basic - all the services you can access in terms of what's happening - but that needs to be developed.'

She added she wanted to boost the number of ways that residents can interact electronically with the council.

It is not yet known whether McKinlay's appointment will lead to further personnel restructuring.

A current success for the comms team at Staffordshire, the county home to the Shugborough estate, near Stafford, is a civic newspaper link-up with the county's eight district councils. This is being used as an example of good practice in the Government-backed Connecting with Communities toolkit.

McKinlay joined UK Sport five years ago. Her work has included spearheading PR for the UK Sports Institute, the national network of sporting facilities and services that includes the Bisham Abbey centre of excellence.

UK Sport was set up in 1997 to fund and promote ways of helping UK athletes to become 'world-class performers.' It is also tasked with raising the country's sporting profile globally.

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