London council appoints director of strategy and comms

Paul Bates, who has 20 years of experience in comms, has been named director of strategy and communications at Lambeth Council.

Paul Bates, director of strategy and communications, Lambeth Council
Paul Bates, director of strategy and communications, Lambeth Council

In his new role, which began this month, Bates reports directly to the chief executive and is a full member of the council’s management board.

Bates, who is a member of the PRCA, is taking the lead on shaping the strategy, policy and communications work at the high-profile London council. This encompasses PR, media relations, brand, social media, public affairs and stakeholder engagement.

His role also involves leading on strategy across the council to support innovation, transformation and improvement.

"Lambeth has a hugely positive story to tell, with enormous potential to achieve even more. The council has clear objectives to enable sustainable and positive growth in the borough while being really clear that the richly diverse communities within Lambeth have every opportunity to share in that growth through jobs, training and education," Bates said.

"We want to make sure that everything the council does supports the needs of our people as far as possible – and that what we do is truly inclusive and based on evidence. The age of the 'top-down' council is over. Only by working with our many stakeholders can we hope to build a place that succeeds," he added.

Career to date

The majority of Bates' experience has been in the charity sector and local government. His most recent role was as director of comms and external affairs at Genesis Housing Association, becoming director of external affairs following its merger with Notting Hill Housing to become Notting Hill Genesis in April 2018. He left that post in August last year.

Bates previously held senior comms positions within organisations including Crusaid, Help the Aged, Luton Borough Council and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

His appointment is one of several hires made by the council in recent weeks, including strategic director roles in areas ranging from health and adult care to finance and investment.

Andrew Travers, chief executive of Lambeth Council, said: "Our new management structure puts Lambeth on the right footing to face the challenges ahead, be they Brexit-related or the impact of the further reductions in local government budgets while managing ever-increasing demand for our services."

He added: "We are not merely shaping the council to respond to the actions of others, but also to chart a dynamic and sustainable course of our own to make Lambeth a great place to be."

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