Public sector news in brief

REFUGEE: The Midland Refugee Council has hired Birmingham-based agency SGP Communications to handle its PR. The agency’s brief is to help improve the image of the charity and also the public’s perceptions of refugee children and youths. This includes a campaign called Protect the Refugee Child - Secure a Just Future for All, which launches this week.

COMMUNICATIONS BILL: The Westminster Media Forum has changed the date of a seminar to discuss new council broadcasting powers contained in the Communications Bill. The seminar was due to take place on 16 July, but will now be on 9 September. The postponement follows a delay to the Bill as it proceeds through the House of Lords.

WYCOMBE: Wycombe District Council will launch a campaign later this month urging local businesses to apply for the 4th annual Wycombe Business Excellence Awards. There will be ten categories, including Company of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Business Leader of the Year and Best Business Website.

ENVIRONMENT: A coalition of European environmental groups, including Greenpeace and WWF, is lobbying the European Commission for tougher regulations on toxic chemicals. The coalition this week submitted a 16,000 signature-strong petition asking the Commission to phase out chemicals harmful to the environment, inform consumers of what chemicals are present in products and require that products imported into the EU conform to strict safety standards.

CANCER CHARITY: The Institute of Cancer Research has launched the latest stage in its Everyman’s campaign, aimed at raising awareness of male cancers. The latest stage involves the use of cartoon character Purple Ronnie,

who will be used on badges to promote the campaign.

GOVERNMENT: The Department for Transport this week launched a campaign to promote green fuel with the unveiling of a London bus running on cleaner diesel. The fuel, with lower emissions of air pollutants, will be trialled over the next few months on the 507 ‘bendy bus’, which runs from Waterloo to Victoria.

STOCKPORT: Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council has boosted its civic pride campaign, Operation Springclean, by adding an online push. Pages have now been developed on the council’s website (www.stockport.gov.uk) to promote the campaign.

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