'New blood' required as LGcomms chair announces decision to step down

Simon Jones is to step down as chair of LGcomms in April, to make way for "new blood" to lead the association of local government comms leaders.

Simon Jones will step down as chair in April
Simon Jones will step down as chair in April

In an email sent to LGComms members last week, Jones announced the search for his successor.

"After four years as Chair, I am standing down in April. We are therefore looking for people to come forward with new ideas and new energy at a critical time for our profession."

He added: "The benefits for individuals are numerous. You will be helping to shape the future direction of local government communications and the conditions around us. The work will contribute significantly to your own professional development as well as the people that we support."

Opportunity knocks

Jones described how LGcomms "exists to develop and strengthen our profession".

He said: "We are offering members the opportunity to put themselves forward, in a voluntary capacity, to join the Executive. There is also the opportunity for members who have been actively involved in LGcomms to nominate themselves for the role of Chair, Vice-Chair, National Secretary and Treasurer."

Time for change

Commenting on his reasons for stepping down, Jones told PRWeek: "I don't think anyone in recent history has held the position of Chair for more than four years. During that period we have continued to grow and strengthen as an organisation. I think now is the right time to step down to ensure that LGcomms benefits from new blood and energy."

Nominations for the posts will close at midnight on 14 February.

Where more than one candidate is put forward for the same role, a vote will be held, with the new chair and other positions confirmed at the annual general meeting of LGComms in Birmingham on 9 April.

CV highlights

Jones has worked in comms for more than a decade, after working as a journalist for 14 years during which he rose to become senior editor-in-chief at Trinity Mirror Southern.

He switched to comms in 2007, when he was appointed head of comms at Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Jones went on to become director of comms, policy and performance, and left in 2014 to take up a job as director of comms at Haringey Council.

In 2017, he moved on to his current role as account director at Westco – a consultancy owned by Westminster City Council, which provides comms services to the public sector. 

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