A note from the frontline

Balancing Act.JPG

Last weekend I had a shift on the communications frontline.

To me, the communications frontline means meeting the tax paying public face-to-face.

It’s all very well dispatching our messages and orchestrating campaigns from the comfort of County Hall, but how often do we actually get out there and speak to the people they’re aimed at? Not often enough.

And while it may not be top of everyone’s bucket list, there’s nothing quite like slipping into a branded polo-neck and seeing the whites of the public’s eyes to remind you of what - and who - our job is all about.

Posted on 27th July 2016

Is winning the war of words really losing?

In the narrow sense of this blog post, the EU referendum result is not important, apart from the parallels with local government of former political friends finding themselves on either side of the debate and now having to pick up the pieces.

Here, on the previously less contested Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border, another little in/out drama has been playing out.

Cotswold and West Oxfordshire districts hatched a plan to create a new unitary in an idea the PM said ‘had a lot of merit’. Some local wag on the Cotswold side quickly dubbed the idea Coxit. When the cross-border idea proved too tricky to progress, our press statement hilariously described it as a ‘Coxit cock-up’.

The soundbite was duly picked up by the local BBC. Job done for the day. Or was it? Colleagues working in two tier areas will no doubt have their own experiences of local spats played out by media statement. Football pundits call it ‘handbags’. No blood spilt, but doesn’t do much for the reputation of the beautiful game.

Posted on 1st July 2016