Specialist agency hires former council leader to lead northern expansion

The former leader of Trafford Council, Sean Anstee, has been appointed executive director for advisory, public affairs and PR at local government specialist Cratus Communications.

Sean Anstee began work at Cratus Communications this week
Sean Anstee began work at Cratus Communications this week

Anstee (pictured above) stepped down as leader of Trafford Council in May 2018, after the Conservatives lost control of the council.

He then led the infrastructure division of Manchester-based tech firm Telcom before leaving to start his new role at Cratus this week.

Anstee describes himself as a “highly proactive, detail-oriented individual with comprehensive experience concentrated in political and governmental relations, corporate and public affairs, policy development, and change management.”

Northern powerhouse

One of his first tasks will be to launch a Manchester office, which will be an addition to the public affairs agency’s existing network of offices in Bristol, London and Southampton. The Manchester office should be ready to open later this year.

Anstee, who was awarded a CBE in the 2019 New Year Honours list for his services to local government, is responsible for working directly with local authorities.

He has also been tasked with building up the agency’s PR arm, which is run by Aidan McGurran, a former managing editor at the Trinity Mirror Group.

Anstee will initially divide his time between London and Manchester.

“This is a hugely exciting time to be joining Cratus, and advancing opportunities to help clients across the UK navigate the public sector and embed excellent and productive relationships with key players across local government,” he said.

Commenting on the agency’s new hire, Nick Kilby, chief executive of Cratus Communications, said: “'Our world is local’, [so] in our search for someone who shares our world, with the talent, respect of the political peers and a genuine passion for all things local, few could be more perfect than Sean Anstee.”

He added: “Sean is a son of Manchester and joins us as we 'level up' Cratus by delivering all our services north of Watford Gap. He will lead our growing non-planning communications business activities – our advisory, public affairs and PR businesses.”

Cratus has several clients in the built environment sector, including Bovis Homes, Crest Nicholson, and Homes England.

It also represents organisations ranging from Morgan Sindall Investments to Thames Water.

Click here to subscribe to the new, FREE public affairs bulletin to receive dedicated public affairs news, features and comment straight to your inbox.

Make sure you register for the site to access more than one story per month.

To submit a news, comment, case study or analysis idea for the public affairs bulletin, email Ian.Griggs@haymarket.com

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in