Public sector news in brief

LG COMMS: Trade body LG Comms has confirmed Liverpool as host city for its 2005 annual conference. The event will be based at the recently refurbished town hall and will run from13 to 15 April. The theme will be ‘great communications for excellent services’ and, in response to feedback from members, this year’s conference will devote more time to smaller group sessions.

DERBY: Derbyshire County Council is to launch a campaign to raise awareness of rogue traders. It follows a pilot project in which council staff rented a house and posed as a couple having problems with their washing machine. One of four plumbing companies called out to fix the fault deliberately misled the couple, prompting the council to launch a ‘Catch a Cowboy’ campaign in the new year.

BRENT: The London Borough of Brent Council is carrying out a survey of one in five households in the area to better establish local needs. It will include face-to-face interviews with residents in more than 2,700 homes and use the information to help regeneration initiatives.

KINGSTON: Public-private partnership Kingston First has been successful in its campaign to sway businesses to vote ‘yes’ for it to become a business-improvement district by a two-thirds majority. Businesses will pay an additional one per cent in council tax to fund more street cleaning, better marketing and schemes to counter traffic congestion. The campaign was managed by Upward Curve.

DONCASTER: Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council press and PR assistant Karlie Thompson is to join Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council as education and culture communications officer. She joins on 10 January.

EDUCATION: Government website Higher Education & Research Opportunities in the UK (Hero) has appointed Bradley O’Mahoney PR to boost its profile to students, parents and career advisers. The site, a guide to the UK’s universities and colleges, is operated jointly between several public education bodies.

HARINGEY: Haringey Council has joined forces with the Metropolitan Police to launch ‘Operation Christmas Cracker’ to promote crime-prevention advice for businesses alongside high-visibility policing and festive events in shopping centres. Shops are displaying warning posters to deter criminals.

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