News in brief

DARTFORD: Dartford Borough Council has appointed Tom Carney as comms manager as part of a council-wide shake-up. He will take responsibility for internal and external comms, branding and consultation, reporting to cabinet secretary Kenneth Lawrie. The comms team, formerly a press office, has expanded from three to eight people. Carney joins from the London Borough of Hounslow where he was corporate comms officer.

AWARDS: The IPR Local Government Group has announced the shortlist for the Excellence in Communications Awards 2004. Over 200 entries have been received with the most popular categories being the civic newspaper/magazine campaign of the year and best publication. Winners will be announced at the group’s annual conference on 10 September. For more information see

RICHMOND: Richmond Council has launched a campaign to encourage licensees to apply for their licences early. The council’s campaign aims to address any problems that could be caused by the law that requires landlords to apply to their council for a licence rather than the courts.

ST HELENS: St Helens Council is to launch a campaign to educate residents about its leisure facilities. It has produced a 28-page booklet detailing the services available at local centres. The brochure will be delivered with the council’s community magazine St Helens First.

IDeA: Local government comms adviser The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) has furthered its Connecting with Communities resource by launching a module on housing comms. Hosted on the Knowledge section of the website, it includes sections on communicating housing stock transfer and private finance initiatives. There is also a database of key contacts in the housing sector. The module was developed by Tribal MPC.

CONFERENCE: Knowsley Council head of comms Carol Lamb will be speaking at the IPR Local Government Group’s annual conference in September on lobbying and positioning. ‘We will be showing how we influence government and Whitehall stakeholders, how we get them to the borough and achieve funding opportunities,’ she said. The district recently piloted the Government’s Schools for the Future programme, which secured funding for secondary school buildings in the borough.

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