After a torrid six months contributed to more than a little by our Council Spending Uncovered campaign which revealed huge amounts of waste and excess in local government, the Local Government Association's Head of News, Richard Stokoe, has written in PR Week, making a heartfelt plea for sympathy for Town Hall spin doctors. I suspect there will be a decidedly small number of tears being shed by taxpayers whose record tax bills go to fund the myriad communications officers in town halls around the country.
Essentially, Stokoe reveals, being a PR man for a council is awful because:
- People like the TPA annoyingly insist on pointing out when you're wasting money or failing to deliver services.
- Opposition councillors...erm...oppose what the council do.
- Central Government, that traditional whipping boy for any council's problems, doesn't defend them from criticism enough.
Diddums. Well, I suppose the £450 million annual budget for local government publicity must provide some comfort for the thousands of people who make a good living with a generous pension and bonuses in return for defending councils in the media, eh?