The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has appointed former editor of the BBC Six O'Clock News Mark Popescu as head of news. Popescu joins at the end of the month, replacing Mark Devane. Popescu also oversaw the rebranding and relaunch of News 24 in 2003.
LGcommunications has held a seminar of 25 council comms chiefs to discuss its response to the Government's consultation on the Publicity Code. Written in 1988, the code makes no reference to new media. LGcommunications chair David Holdstock revealed some councils believe that the code should be scrapped entirely, while others believe the code needs to be revised. The consultation closes later this month.
Constructionline, the government-endorsed register of pre-qualified contractors and consultants, has appointed Citypress to handle its PR brief ahead of a major relaunch of the service later this year. Founded by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Constructionline provides a database of certified suppliers to help organisations build tender lists when awarding construction contracts, predominantly in the public sector.
The London thames gateway corporation has appointed the London Communications Agency. It will promote the regeneration work that the urban development agency is overseeing in east London around the Olympic Games. The six-figure account was won in a three-way pitch. The London Communications Agency will report to head of comms Patrick Edwards.
London councils have won awards for performance related to comms. The winners of the 2009 Beacon awards will receive a share of £3m government funding to expand their work. These include: Camden and Tower Hamlets, which won for positive engagement with older people; and Greenwich, which won for using the Olympic Games to encourage communities to be more active.