The position was created following an organisational review by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2002, which suggested changes to the departmental structure and senior staff responsibilities.
The post is designed to strengthen the council’s corporate performance management and to help improve comms with the community.
Wetherfield heads a team of two, comprising a comms manager and comms officer, and will report to chief executive John Ballantyne. His first project is to prepare the council for its first Corporate Performance Assessment in two weeks time and to communicate the results.
The comms department is responsible for internal communications, the council magazine, and media relations. Wetherfield said: ‘The main challenge of the role is to make sure that we have clear and realistic plans of what we are trying to achieve and that we are able to put a positive message across about the work of the council, which is meaningful to our local residents.
‘The twin issue is of policy and making sure that the council can put its achievements in the best light.’
Before joining the council, Wetherfield worked for five years at South Buckinghamshire District Council as corporate strategy officer. During that time, he developed its business planning, performance management and customer relations strategies, and took a lead role in communicating South Bucks’ performance.
He has also worked for Sevenoaks District Council and Kent County Council.