The London Borough of Lewisham has asked PR consultant Paul
Richards to carry out a full review of the council’s communications,
reporting back to executive mayor Dave Sullivan by the autumn.
Richards is looking at the structure of the communications function
following a general reorganisation at the council when the number of
departments was chopped from eight to five.
The new structure is designed to follow the New Labour principle of more
In the current structure, seven PR people work in the central press
function under Richards, but 11 work in the various departments. The
review will look at how communications can be more cohesive than in the
The council has already adopted a more consultative approach to
government with the introduction of a citizen’s panel, which recommended
a directly-elected executive mayor and a change to a cabinet-style
executive in June.
’Lewisham is attempting to become the model Blairite borough, to be for
Blair what Wandsworth was for Thatcher in the 1980s,’ said Richards.