Public-sector news in brief

HARLOW: The Harlow Gateway Partnership has appointed Camargue to promote its regeneration project in Harlow, Essex, following a four-way pitch. The partnership comprises Harlow Council, the Harlow Sports Trust, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and regeneration body English Partnerships. Work begins at once and involves communications strategy and planning. The project will supply housing and sports facilities.

EALING: The London Borough of Ealing is to hire a media relations chief as Victoria Walker, interim head of media relations, ends her secondment from Westminster City Council. Walker was drafted in for six months, and Ealing and Westminster are currently negotiating her return. A new head of media relations is expected to be in place by the end of the year. The head of media relations reports to head of marketing Richard Davies.

APPOINTMENT: Public sector specialist October Communications has drafted in BBC Radio Merseyside news editor Ruby Williams to set up a North Wales division. Williams will be responsible for generating new business in the area. The Liverpool-based agency helped to support the city’s successful 2008 Capital of Culture bid, devising the slogan ‘The World in One City’, and providing PR and public affairs support during the drive to host the event.

IdeA: Councils feel that private sector PROs have limited understanding of a local authority’s political environment, according to a report by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA). To make contracts between councils and private sector PR successful, both sides need to focus on building relationships rather than budgets, it concludes. Councils should also improve the briefs they write for their agencies, according to the report.

WEBSITE: The Criminal Cases Review Commission has relaunched its website, featuring its new logo, as part of a programme to improve communication with stakeholders. The 11-month project, which involved consultation with a broad range of groups and individuals, is the first update of the website in the commission’s seven-year history.

The commission was set up as an independent public body in 1997 to investigate suspected miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to decide if they ought to be referred to the appeal courts.

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