LGcomms chair appointed to top county council role

Alix Macfarlane, chair of LGcomms, the membership body for comms professionals in local government, has been appointed head of communications and engagement at West Sussex County Council.

Alix Macfarlane has taken on a new council comms challenge
Alix Macfarlane has taken on a new council comms challenge

Alix Macfarlane is on the corporate leadership team, reporting to West Sussex County Council chief executive Becky Shaw, and leading a team of about 20 people.

Macfarlane told PRWeek: “In West Sussex, as across the country, our key communications focus right now continues to be responding to the pandemic, as well as planning for the future. We’re working with partners to keep residents as safe as possible and support the local economy."

She added: “West Sussex County Council is in a period of positive change. We are currently developing a Reset plan, an organisation-wide strategy, covering what the council will do next, backed by the budget. The aim is to meet the council’s commitment to put residents at the heart of everything we do and to make sure the way we work is as straightforward as possible.”

Macfarlane started in her new role last month, after spending more than a decade at Brighton & Hove City Council, where she progressed to become deputy head of comms.

She replaced Hannah Clubb, who starts a new job this month as asociate director of comms and partnership engagement at Sussex Health and Care Partnership.

Macfarlane started out as a marketing assistant at the University of Brighton’s Student Union. After two years she left to become a researcher and production assistant at TV production company Communicopia.

In 1999 she retrained as a journalist and spent the next few years working in journalism, including a two-year stint as a technology and business reporter on The Argus newspaper in Brighton.

She moved into a career in comms when she joined Brighton & Hove City Council in 2008.

Last year Macfarlane was announced as the new chair of LGcomms, and pledged that she would be a “proud champion” of local authority comms professionals.

“I aim to put diversity at the heart of everything we do to make local government communications stronger, more diverse and more influential,” she added.

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