London First, the private/public sector lobbying body, has launched a
major campaign in a bid to persuade the Government to reverse cuts in
spending on London’s Underground network.
The body has hired its first PR manager, former Evening Standard
industrial correspondent Luke Blair, to handle the media relations side
of the campaign. Blair has been appointed on a six-month contract. It
has also contacted members in the PR, advertising and sales promotion
industries asking for their help on a pro bono basis. These include:
Lowe Bell, Shandwick and Burson-Marsteller.
Patrick Kerr, London First’s public affairs manager, said the Budget
settlement announced by the Chancellor last week amounted to a 40 per
cent cut in the money available to London Transport for investment in
the Tube infrastructure over the next three years: a fall from pounds
1.7 billion to pounds 1 billion. It also meant London Transport would
have to meet any overspend on the Jubilee Line extension, reducing its
budget even more.
New PR manager Blair said the Government had to realise that the Tube
was vitally important to the success of the whole UK.