|£4 million down the drain|
So the Dame was interested in some research carried out by Justin Downes, founder of Financial Dynamics, one of the world's largest public relations groups.
In any corporate merger the first rule is to take a look at 'soft savings'. Into that category comes public relations....
So has there been any attempt to rationalise the three council communications departments? According to Downes the answer is no.
Critical front line services are being cut to the bone yet the three councils are spending an aggregated £4 million a year(with establishment and pension costs.) Logic would have dictated that the first cut would have been this wasteful spending: after all our own Rotten Borough Propaganda Unit seems to occupy itself sending out garbage about root vegetable festivals in Portobello or putting together the readerless Royal Borer. As for Westminster....well it's handling of the parking issues hardly covered it's PR Dept in glory!
If the three councils were serious about saving money they would have immediately considered outsourcing communications to an external consultancy or centralising communications within a streamlined standalone unit.
The irony is that councils love to pretend they are client facing businesses, yet fail to execute an obvious rationalisation a privately run company would have seen as an absolute priority.