Westminster City Council has appointed Simon Morrison to its top
communications post, where he will oversee a budget of pounds 830,000 a
Morrison is currently head of press at the Corporation of London. His
appointment as head of communications comes a year after an internal
reorganisation in which the head of external communications, Graham
England, was replaced in the top PR role.
One of six senior Westminster figures implicated in the ’homes for
votes’ scandal which hit the headlines in 1992, England is now handling
special corporate projects following the reorganisation.
Morrison’s predecessor, Nigel Pollard, reported to England before the
reorganisation. The line of command then switched to director of policy
and regeneration, Peter Thomas. Thomas sits on the eight-member chief
officer’s board, which in turn reports to the chief executive.
Morrison, 29, who joins in September, will be responsible for media and
public relations, literature, sponsorship and Millennium issues.
Conservative-controlled Westminster faces a tough agenda during the
coming year, when it will need to learn to live with a Labour Government
and shake off the shadow of scandal.
’The communications function is seen very much as central to the success
of Westminster as an authority,’ said Morrison.
He said the attitude in local government towards PR has changed: ’Advice
that you can provide as a PR professional is taken a lot more seriously
than it used to be.’
He manages a team of six press officers at the Corporation of London,
where he reports to the director of PR, one tier below the chief
Morrison joined the Corporation from the Consumers’ Association, where
he worked for two years. He had previously been a journalist.
His predecessor, Pollard, left Westminster to join brewing company
Scottish Courage as external relations manager in April.