English Partnerships, the government body for economic development
and urban regeneration, has appointed former Labour parliamentary
candidate Paul Richards as media relations manager.
Richards was Labour’s candidate for Billericay in the general election,
when he reduced Teresa Gorman’s Tory majority from around 23,000 to just
over 1,000. A former researcher for Ann Taylor MP, Richards worked as a
PR officer for the Association of County Councils, which has now been
replaced by the Local Government Association.
Richards is one of two new appointments to English Partnerships, which
is in the process of reviewing its PR and marketing set-up. Caroline
Inman has also joined as a press officer from Kent County Council.
Last December, PR Week revealed English Partnerships was looking for a
PR company to conduct a strategic review of its communications in a bid
to get the separate PR and marketing departments working more closely
together. Richards said that process continues.
’We want to be able to evaluate our public relations and marketing
impact across the organisation in a uniform way, and that may mean the
central PR team working more closely with the six regional offices who
have their own PR functions,’ he said. Richards added that he was hoping
to make a quick appointment.
The organisation is also considering the creation of a director-level
communications role, candidates for which could include Richards,
marketing manager Kay Exton and senior press officer Karen Leech, who is
currently on maternity leave.
English Partnerships was set up in April 1994 to bring together public
and private finance for regeneration and urban development schemes. It
also has the responsibility of reclaiming huge swathes of former English