Hackney has appointed Carl Welham as interim assistant chief executive, communications and consultation ( PR Week, 17 September) previously of Buckinghamshire County Council where he was head of comms and customer service.
See him here on YouTube saying that councils face major cuts and work has to be done to "make sure communications is not a casualty of that by proving we are an essential part of the business and not a nice to have add on." Hopefully that doesn't mean bogus self-justifying communications strategies.
If this question that he dealt with in a Buckinghamshire meeting applies to Hackney, then may be communications could prove itself by cutting back on spending:
"A member commented that there was a lack of consistency in communications from different service areas. Carl Welham explained that individual service areas spent four times as much money on communications as CS&Comms. Some members questioned why the central CS&Comms team were not co-ordinating all communications to ensure a consistent standard.
Another brief outline of what he thinks about the job and where it might have gone wrong.