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Friday, 16 March 2012

Communications and Brent Council

There is a persistent tendency to attack Brent Council's communications staff as an "add on" or an "extra", or even as politically biased.  Cllr Paul Lorber is especially prone to this.

I think this fundamentally misunderstands how the Council works and how it will work in the future.  Far from being extra, communications is actually key to many of the Council's core functions.  An obvious example is recycling.  We could never have achieved the success rates that we have without a thorough communications campaign designed to inform and persuade people to participate in the new scheme.  Effective communication through advertising, the press, leaflet and face to face was essential to delivering one of our key priorities.  As the Council develops its public health role, communications is likely to become even more important.  It may also be that, as a reduced Brent Council works more in partnership with others, effective communications will be one of the key skills it will offer to the relationship.

Looking at the Liberal Democrats' repeated suggestions that we simply cut the communications budget, persuades me that they have very little vision of where the Council is going.

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