Southampton City Council is 'below par'

A review of Southampton City Council's communications department has found it is wasting £100,000 a year.

Alex Aiken: overseeing Southampton review
Alex Aiken: overseeing Southampton review

Southampton has appointed Westminster City Council to provide a review of its communications facility.

According to the report, Southampton's communications performance is currently weak and 'operating at a level below that of council services'.

The report states the department is operating at 40 per cent of its possible effectiveness and meets a 'bronze standard' based on assessment against criteria, such as the Local Government Association reputation campaign, a residents' survey and discussions with employees.

One of Westminster's key recommendations has been for Southampton to appoint a director of communications, reporting directly to the chief executive. A search for this director is currently under way.

The report also states the department is too focused on being reactive to coverage in the Southern Daily Echo, and there is a lack of 'meaningful evaluation' of communications activities.

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