Currently freelancing for Sainsbury’s, Duggan takes up the head of corporate comms role on 10 July, reporting to executive director of strategy and resources Sean Harris.
‘Community cohesion is something that Oldham takes very seriously, which is part of the attraction. Many people think the council has BNP councillors, but that party has never had a single one, which shows there is a difference between how the council is perceived and the reality,’ she said.
However, it is widely acknowledged that the North-West town is a BNP heartland – and Oldham has been dubbed the ‘race-hate capital’ of the UK by the media.
Duggan replaces Susan Wildman, who joined Salford City Council as head of comms in March.
She spent eight years at Asda, where she led comms around community consultation projects to woo local people over store plans.
While Oldham Council has made good progress in community cohesion since race riots engulfed the town five years ago, the reluctance of Asian community leaders to encourage integration is causing some ethnic tensions in the district, according to a Government report released last week.