Local govt campaigner names Miles as top PRO

The Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) has hired Laraine Miles as head of comms to replace Mary Wimbury, who has departed to study for an MA.

Miles joins from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), where she was a comms manager. Directing an eight-strong communications team at the LGIU, she takes responsibility for internal and external comms, events, publications and marketing.

She said: ‘The biggest challenge is getting synergy across comms functions and repositioning the LGIU as a strong, focused, independent voice to enable local democracy. It is not as proactive or as public-facing as it needs to be.’

Before the DfES, Miles was a comms manager at Westminster Council.

The unit runs campaigns to promote local democracy and encourage employers to give time off to staff for public duties. It is also lobbying for a lower voting age and council tax reforms.

Set up in 1983, the body is independent, which sets it apart from the Local Government Association.

The LGIU works with sister organisations The Education Network and the Democratic Health Network to advise authorities.

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