News in brief

POLICE: The National Crime Squad (NCS) is on the hunt for a new head of corporate comms. The post, has been vacant since last autumn. NCS was set up to target international criminal organisations following recommendations in a 1995 Home Affairs Select committee report on the threat of organised crime and its impact on the UK.

ENVIRONMENT: English Nature, the Government-funded body for the conservation of England’s wildlife, has appointed Elements PR as its

first regionally-based PR firm. Located in Cambridge, Elements will head English Nature’s national pilot scheme to evaluate the effect of regional PR experts on the organisation’s nationwide activities.

CHELMSFORD: Life, Chelmsford Borough Council’s free tabloid-sized paper, has won a Gold PRide Award for best newsletter in the Institute of Public Relations East Anglian awards ceremony. The paper, which aims to keep local people informed about the actions of the council, is delivered to 66,000 homes. It received high acclaim from the competition judge for its ‘informative and interesting style’.

EDUCATION: The London College of International Business Studies has appointed the former planning director of Weber Shandwick, Kieran Knights, as its lecturer in public relations. The development is intended to demonstrate the college’s commitment to PR as part of its career-based business training for international students. Knights says he will continue to run his own strategic planning consultancy outside his lecturing hours.

LEWISHAM: Three volunteers from the Lewisham Leaving Care and Mentoring Project are to be profiled on the Community Channel documentary Friends for a Year. In addition, 11 teenagers will feature as extras in a BBC drama starring Billie Piper. The project, which is run by Lewisham Council in conjunction with the Prince’s Trust, was set up to support young people leaving care.

ENVIRONMENT: The Environment Agency has joined forces with Community Service Volunteers (CSV) to launch a four-month campaign encouraging people to improve their local environment. Environment Agency Action Earth 2004 runs until 5 June and calls on volunteers to identify ways they can improve their local environment and organise projects to meet their community needs. Groups register their project with CSV and receive a £50 grant to help with set-up and running costs.

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