Grenfell council admits leadership was 'unable to cope'


Kensington & Chelsea LBC has admitted to the Grenfell Tower inquiry its ‘leadership was unable to cope’ in the days after the tragedy.

Once more with feeling


Catherine Malloy offers her top tips on how to write external communications with empathy – and why it’s such an important and worthwhile skill.

Maintaining effective local authority messaging as the national lockdown lifts


Will Hoare gives his three top tips on how local authorities can maintain effective communication as the roadmap out of lockdown begins.

Communication now at the top table in local government, survey reveals


The pandemic has brought communications to the top table in local government, according to the results of a new survey.

COVID-19 presents opportunity to enhance local government communications


The pandemic has changed how local government communicates, let’s make sure it’s for the better, says Rick Goud, CIO and co-founder at Zivver.

How to drive employee engagement within local authorities


James Scott presents four key tips for enhancing communication and uplifting employee engagement within local authorities.

Communicating with citizens in a crisis and beyond


Karen Steel looks at what councils need to consider when communicating with citizens in the midst of a crisis, and beyond.

Leader of Northumberland Council is deposed


The leader of a scandal-hit council compared to North Korea has been deposed after a vote of no confidence at a fiery meeting.

Combined authority 'spending reserves like it's going out of fashion'


Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s chief executive has expressed doubts about whether his region would be able to cope with a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Councils resist government's changed 'stay alert' message


Areas with higher coronavirus rates have urged residents to stay at home amid fears the Government’s change of message to ‘stay alert’ was confusing.

Councils given power to hold meetings remotely


Local authorities will be allowed to hold public meetings remotely by video or telephone, under new powers introduced today.

Government signs £1bn deal to end ‘patchy’ phone coverage


Ministers and bosses from mobile network operators will meet today to sign a £1bn deal aimed at ending ‘poor and patchy’ rural phone coverage.

More than 500 fax machines being used across local government


Councils are more likely to use fax machines than other areas of the public sector, a new investigation has revealed.

Navigating the rules of purdah


Neil Merrick voices his frustration over how different councils interpret purdah rules.

Grenfell inquiry: Better communication between councils and fire services needed


‘Far better direct communication’ between local authorities and fire and rescue services is needed, an official inquiry has urged.

Supporting community members in vulnerable circumstances


Matthew Drage outlines how councils can ensure they best identify and communicate with the most vulnerable members of their communities.

Council backs £54,000 hearing loop scheme


Southampton City Council has teamed up with local organisations in an effort to make Southampton the first city in the UK to have a hearing loop system in every public building.

Council loses appeal to keep publishing fortnightly newspaper


Hackney Council has lost its final legal appeal to keep publishing its fortnightly newsletter, Hackney Today.

Council to appeal 'town hall Pravdas' ruling


Waltham Forest LBC will appeal after a judge backed Government attempts to stop it publishing a council newspaper every two weeks.

Survey reveals lack of confidence in council communication


Communications experts have called on local authorities to embrace the advantages of digital communications with residents.

Councils accused of not doing enough to prepare for Brexit


Councils are not doing enough to prepare for Brexit and need to step up their game, the concerned Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has told sector figures.

Brokenshire gets Brexit breakdown from chiefs


Chief executives have told communities secretary James Brokenshire Whitehall needs to be more joined up between departments and in its communications with councils over Brexit.

Councils using premium rate phone lines branded 'greedy'


Campaigners have accused local authorities of being ‘greedy and foolish’ for using premium rate lines for people to pay rent and parking fines.

Be the talk of the town (hall)


The way we talk about councils really matters, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West – and it’s time to speak up for local government and reclaim the powerful origins of the word ‘municipal’.

Saying sorry goes a long way


Mark Whitehead calls on councils to make a direct apology to the public when something goes wrong.

Welsh local councils accused of operating in 'secretive ways'


Local councils in Wales have been accused of being 'secretive' and anti-democratic after research revealed not all provide electronic access to minutes and meetings.

Bouquets or Brickbats?


Angie Ledgeway looks at the importance of research in delivering effective results for local initiatives.

Council leaders dismiss 'Dickensian' perception of authority


The residents of an East Anglian borough see their council as 'Dickensian', according to its mayor - even though leading councillors claim it as a national success story.

Council publications: Shameless propaganda or cost-effective communication tool?


With an East London council confirming it will push ahead with a judicial review over its fortnightly publication, who should decide what councils are allowed to publish? Mark Whitehead reports.

London council to take legal action over fortnightly newsletter


Waltham Forest council has confirmed it will launch a legal battle over a government instruction to stop publishing its fortnightly newsletter.

Waltham Forest council defends ‘right’ to publish newsletter


A London council is set to challenge the Government over its right to publish a fortnightly newsletter for residents.

Councils urged to implement effective interpretation and translation services


Councils could do more to help people facing language and communication barriers to access public services, according to the findings of a new report.

Councils protect residents from 'fake news' and scammers


Local government leaders have issued guidance to help protect residents from scammers pretending to be from the council.

Should councils be allowed to publish their own freesheets?


Mark Whitehead finds out why two London councils have defied the Government by continuing to publish their own fortnightly newspapers.

Newspapers call for 'swift legal action' on town hall Pravdas


Local newspaper bosses say they are worried the Government is going to lift its clampdown on councils issuing their own publications.

Local government guide to social media


Neil Merrick explains how local authorities can get the most from social media and avoid potential pitfalls.

Two London councils accused of breaking publicity rules


The Government has threatened two London councils with court action, claiming they are breaking publicity rules by publishing their newspapers ‘too frequently’.

Council to trial new meeting time to improve accessibilty


Sheffield City Council has agreed to change the start time and length of its full monthly meetings to make them more accessible to the general public.

Lambeth terminates £400,000 communications contract early


Lambeth Council has terminated an agreement to provide ‘communication services’ to Harrow two years earlier than contracted because of staffing issues.

Councils ‘vastly enhance’ roadworks communication


Local authorities have been praised for ‘vastly enhancing’ their communication about roadworks in their areas over the past three years.

One in ten councils to cut comms teams this year


Councils' communications teams have reached a 'plateau' on staff cuts, new research published today has suggested.

Essex council hits out over 'unacceptable' letter to residents


Party leaders at an Essex council have joined forces to express outrage at Highways England 'again' writing to residents without informing the council.

Welsh councils urged to cut 'propaganda spend'


Welsh councils have been urged to cut the amount of money they are spending on ‘propaganda’ after new figures showed they spent more than £1.6m on bulletins and newsletters in the past three years.

Town hall 'pravdas' given final warning


Three councils that have continued to publish regular newspapers have been given a ‘last chance’ to abide by government rules.

Who needs telephones? Rolling out Skype for Business in Ealing


William Eichler finds out why Ealing Council has moved its telephony system to the cloud.

Wrexham to implement five-year Welsh language strategy


The executive board of Wrexham council has approved a five-year strategy to promote, facilitate and increase the use of the Welsh language in the county borough.

Tricks of the trade


Sleight of hand is not confined to the Magic Circle and local government must be aware of the wizardry going on behind devolution, warns Abdool Kara.

Council to adopt gender neutral title on forms


Oxford City Council has approved plans to add the gender neutral title ‘Mx’ to official forms in order to become more inclusive.

Council spends thousands redesigning logo


A council has defended its decision to spend £15,000 on a new logo as necessary for the ‘digital age’.

Council launches 24-hour chat service


Calderdale Council has become the first local authority to provide a 24-hour instant messaging services for customers.

Getting on top of your emails


Robin Bingeman shares his top tips for email management in local government.

Council to rebel against publicity guidelines


Wirral Council could be set to defy Government guidelines by launching a new monthly publication.

Councils 'failing' legal duty to use Welsh language in sport centres


Most councils in Wales are breaking the law by failing to offer Welsh language swimming lessons at their leisure centres, according to campaigners.

BBC deal 'must address democratic deficit'


Council press officers have warned that the BBC’s initiative to support local journalism should come with a proper education of how local government operates.

Councils high on worst practice list for debt collection


Local government one of the worst sectors in the UK when it comes to collecting debt, report finds.

Speaking the same language


Michael White explains what unified comms can do for councils

Council hits out at funding cut for Cornish language


Cornwall Council has condemned the government's decision to cut all its funding to support the Cornish language.

Councils call for power to protect children from junk food advertising


Councils have called for new powers to ban junk food advertising near schools, nurseries and children's centres in a bid to tackle child obesity.

Practise what you preach: Instilling good governance within local government


The growing number of local government meetings are a significant and seemingly unavoidable budget consideration in themselves. But, that's not to say they can't be run more cost-effectively with a more efficient meeting management process, argues Alister Esam.

A day in the life of local government


Councils have thrown themselves into the national #OurDay tweetathon today to spread the word about work done by local authorities.

Council approves new Cornish language plan


A new plan to help protect and promote the Cornish language has been approved by Cornwall Council.

Haringey unveils controversial new look


Haringey council in north London today launched its new look following controversy over a £86,000 rebranding exercise.

£86,000 for a new image: money well spent?


We live in image-conscious times. But we also live in cost-conscious times: this is the rub with a plan by a north London council to spend almost £86,000 on a rebranding exercise.

East Sussex row over 'victim mentality'


The leader of Lewes District Council is facing calls to step down after accusing councillors in Seaford of having a ‘victim mentality

Safety zone scheme aims to aid lost children


A new ‘child safe zone’ has been launched in Glasgow to protect children who get lost in the city centre.

Revealed: Top 10 daftest queries to council call centres


A request for help with a crossword clue, advice on cooking instant noodles and an enquiry about a website’s opening hours have been among the 50 million queries made to council call centres in the last year.

Councils refute 'wasting' millions on media monitoring


Britain's biggest local authority has hit back at claims in a national newspaper that it has 'wasted' huge sums of money checking how it is reported in the media.

Council unveils shocking posters in clean-up push


A council has unveiled shocking new posters showing a man urinating in his fireplace and a dog pooing on a living-room floor in a bid to combat street mess.

Winning the fight against litter


John Read argues that the only sustainable solution to Britain’s litter problem is a national behavioural change campaign

County faces ‘new scale of challenge’ in finding £90m savings


Up to £90m in savings could be required at East Sussex County Council over the next three years, a report to cabinet has indicated.

Councils successfully getting high-risk people to have a free health check


More people are having a free NHS health check since local authorities took over the responsibility for delivering them, new figures have revealed.

Council accused of 'social cleansing' over tenant relocation letter


A London borough has been accused of ‘social cleansing’ after sending a letter offering to pay local tenants to move 129 miles away to Birmingham.

Birmingham deploys latest apps for election results


Birmingham City Council is bang up to date with information technology for the General Election.

Tory manifesto contains the most ‘political clichés’ finds research


The Conservatives had the most ‘political clichés’ in their manifesto compared to the other parties, according to new analysis.

Councils employ more than double the comms staff than central gov


Local government employs twice as many communications officers than central government, according to new research conducted by Press Gazette.

Importance of imparting information


‘Town hall Pravdas’? No. Information is the lifeblood of local government and constricting its flow will cause injury and even death, writes David Walker

Council newspaper ban to go to High Court


The Government is to take Greenwich LBC to the High Court for failing to comply with an order to stop publishing its weekly newspaper.

Research shows councils providing poor telephone service


Councils are failing to provide a good customer service over the telephone, according to the results of a new survey.

Council to challenge newspaper ban


Greenwich RBC is to take legal action over the government’s decision to ban it from publishing its weekly newspaper.

Funding boost to help Cornish language thrive


The Government is investing an extra £150,000 to help develop and protect the Cornish language.

Councils warned over printing fortnightly newspapers


Three more councils could be banned from publishing their fortnightly newspapers, ministers have warned.

Borough banned from printing weekly newspaper


Ministers have stepped in to ban a London borough from publishing its weekly council newspaper more than four times a year.

Council removes controversial ‘beggars can be choosers’ posters


A city council has taken down posters stating ‘beggars can be choosers’ following a local backlash.

Harrow selects council company to transform communications services


Lambeth Communications - a local authority trading company - has been chosen to provide services to Harrow Council until 2019.

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
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