PUBLIC SECT0R: Enfield re-organises comms function

Enfield has launched a hunt for its first permanent comms chief for 18 months.

The postholder, hopefully to be named early next year, will drive through a fresh comms strategy. This takes emphasis away from marketing to 'more traditional press and publicity work', according to the council's current most senior PRO, consultant Lee Lixenberg.

The creation of the top comms role and strategy follows a period of uncertainty for the function, which has been without a permanent head since the departure of head of comms Ashley Gibbins last year (PRWeek, 20 July 2001).

Since then comms has been led by head of human resources Angela O'Connor, who left in July this year to become HR director at the Crown Prosecution Service, and most recently head of marketing Jo Papadopoulos who left last month for a comms role at the London Borough of Camden.

The creation of the head of comms role coincides with a council wide restructure, including the recruitment of a new chief executive following David Plank's departure.

His departure followed a change in administration when the Conservatives took control after local elections in May this year.

The new administration has made commitments to create a customer call centre and contact centres across the borough.

In terms of communicating with residents, pledges have also been made to increase partnerships with local stakeholders.

Lixenberg said: 'There's been an appreciation of the need to become more effective.'

Enfield will carry on being part of the Connecting With Communities project despite initial reservations from council leader Michael Rye who called it a 'waste of money' (PRWeek, 17 May).

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