Public sector news in brief

DfES: The Department for Education and Skills’ retained agency Fishburn Hedges teamed up with the World Darts Association last week to promote its Get On campaign.

The push was part of the Government’s Skills for Life Strategy to improve adult literacy and numeracy skills. FH used the event to promote darts as a way for people improve their maths.

WESTMINSTER: SkillsActive head of communications and marketing Tim Joiner, who is also a Conservative councillor, is taking a year of unpaid leave to take up the position of Lord Mayor of Westminster. His deputies, communications manager Shelly Beresford and marketing manager Matt Hickey, will cover his responsibilities during the year. Joiner was nominated by the Westminster Council Conservative Group.

PENDLE: Pendle Borough Council has pioneered a cartoon strip to help improve community cohesion. Funded by East Lancashire Together, the strips are designed to improve understanding of people from different cultures, ages and backgrounds. The strip is designed by Private Eye writer Peter Rigg and will be published in the borough’s weekly newspaper The Leader Times.

NORTHAMPTON: University College Northampton’s corporate communications and development department has appointed two press and PR officers, Mark Ferguson and Claire Bicknell. Ferguson arrives from business magazine Footwear Business International where he was editor, while Bicknell joins from dog welfare charity The Dog’s Trust.

LGA: The Local Government Association’s Local Democracy Week has been renamed Local Democracy Campaign for this year to reflect the number of events the LGA is planning through 2005. Once again the campaign focuses on young people – up to the age of 26 – but this year there will also be a focus on reaching those who are ‘disenfranchised’ from the community and democratic process. Agencies such as the YMCA and Legal Services (formally Legal Aid Board), as well as The Big Issue founder John Bird, will be lending their support to the campaign.

ESSEX: Castle Point Borough Council is on the hunt for its first PR officer. The post will be funded by Essex County Council for the next three years.

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