Public Sector: The Public Sector Week

University of Essex hires comms director, Norfolk transport campaign pays off.

The University of Essex has appointed a new director of communications and external relations as it looks for greater brand recognition. Vanessa Potter has more than 15 years' senior management experience in the public and third sectors and has worked in central and local government and for the National Union of Students. Most recently she was director of policy and external relations at the Big Lottery Fund.

Norfolk County Council's campaign to turn the A11 into a dual carriageway earlier than planned has had a successful outcome. The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that it will be the first major infrastructure project to be advanced under government plans to stimulate the economy. A nine-mile single carriageway stretch of the A11 trunk passing through Suffolk and Norfolk is the first DfT project to be fast-tracked since Chancellor Alistair Darling announced plans to drive economic growth through early government spending on such schemes.

Brighton Council is launching a campaign to help local businesses through the credit crunch. The campaign, called 'Be Local - Buy Local', is designed to encourage people to spend their money in the city. Local businesses will sign up to the campaign to use Brighton's marketing material, which advocates 'Buy Local -Be Local' to appear in shop windows. Brighton is also planning to use local media to support the campaign.

Southampton Council is poised to appoint a PR agency to carry out an audit of its comms function following a change of administration. It is down to a shortlist of four. The chosen agency will look for ways to improve the council's comms then carry out the recommendations.

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