Sawyers, a comms consultant at the Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IDeA), takes up the post next week. He replaces Kate Pierce who quit in December amid a team structure review, which is still ongoing.
The borough also proposes to send five specialist PROs from the 26-strong comms team to specific directorates, such as social services and transport.
Sawyers will manage a team of 20 staff, one of the biggest local authority comms teams in the country. He said: ‘The new role is a move back to the front line for me, as the IDeA works with all the communications offices in the country to help them improve, but this will be more day-to-day work.’
Sawyers will report to assistant to the chief executive, Sarah Williams.
Acting head of comms Chris Payne said: ‘There is a [departmental] restructure proposal that has been under discussion, and the final version has yet to be put to staff. However, the interim management will be feeding into that.
‘The negotiations between staff and management have been ongoing since the autumn, and we hope to have a new team structure by the summer,’ he added.
Sawyers has been at the IDeA since April 2002, during which time he managed the Connecting with Communities project and developed the agency’s services, aimed at helping local authorities improve the way they communicate.
Before that, he was corporate communications manager at Brent Council, where he was responsible for internal communications and PR.