Milton Keynes hires PR chief in city status bid

Milton Keynes Council has hired Peter Heaton as marketing and communications manager to manage community relations and promote the council’s application for city status after 2000.

Milton Keynes Council has hired Peter Heaton as marketing and

communications manager to manage community relations and promote the

council’s application for city status after 2000.



Heaton started this month; he replaces Peter Morris, who left to become

press and PR manager for Silverstone Race Track last year.



Heaton will lead a PR team of four, reporting to Milton Keynes’ chief

executive Howard Miller and working closely with the council’s

eight-strong policy team.



He joins from the Mental Aftercare Association, where he had held the

post of director of marketing and communications for over two years.

Prior to that, he worked for government and public sector PR agency DTW,

based in Milton Keynes.



Central to Heaton’s work will be promoting closer relations with the

local population through the media and focus groups.



The town’s population is growing at around 10,000 per year and currently

stands at around 204,000.



The council, which is a Labour-controlled unitary authority, expects to

submit an application for formal city status to the Government later

this year. City status should help the council to secure funds to

improve its infrastructure and raise its profile.



’My task is to impress upon Government and the civil service the

specific nature of Milton Keynes as the fastest-growing city in the

country,’ Heaton said.



He will also attempt to secure wide media coverage of the council’s

public referendum on the services it provides and the level of council

tax.



Milton Keynes will be the first council to conduct such a referendum and

voting is set to take place between 1 and 19 February.



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