This year, the Tories at the Town Hall have announced plans to share their communication services, including media, marketing, internal communications and their website, with Cambridgeshire County Council – with the aim of saving them £2.6m over the next three years.
Sound sensible? Maybe.
But what they don’t tell you is the millions of pounds they’ve already wasted on unwanted publications and the hundreds of thousands they’ve handed out to “certain” local media or marketing individuals in the city!
For example, in one year alone, and despite cutting services at the time, they:
- Spent £120,000 with Athene Communications (who’s client list includes a NUMBER of Council related projects), apparently “to support the media team before a permanent member was recruited.”
- Spent £12,520 with The Creative Marketing Studio “to provide cover for a vacant full-time marketing officer post.”
- Spent £12,520 with PS Media, which is run by former broadcaster and Peterborough Telegraph columnist Paul Stainton.
Now, I’m sure that the decision to use these companies was completely above board.
However, I would add that a) There are quite a lot of other marketing and communication companies in our city and b) Why did they simply not just temporarily use Cambs County Council (or another neighbouring authority) communications team?
And any suggestions that such contracts are agreed over a pint in a Barnack pub, are I am sure, totally unfounded!
Remember Your Peterborough
The Conservative controlled City Council, launched the Your Peterborough magazine, commonly identified as the Councils own propaganda newsletter, over a decade ago.
When it launched, it used to be published 10 times a year, at a cost of around £12,000 per edition.
They then reduced it down to six editions a year. Then, they reduced it to once a year, then they reduced it’s size and now it seems it’s just available on line?
The bottom line, is that since it’s creation, millions have been spent on it and as far as I can see, the only people to really benefit are the people paid to print and design it!?
What I said ….
At a previous meeting of Full Council, I stood up and said to the Conservative controlled City Council:
“In December 2016 you told me you’d paid Athene Communications over £300k in less
than two years to do work that many in this city believe should be able to be done by
your own Media and Communications Team.
“Since this Tory regime took control of this city council, they have wasted hundreds of
thousands of pounds by providing unused and unrequired websites for Members and
regularly advertise well paid positions in the media machine including once offering
£90,000 for a Head of Communications.
“Presently frontline staff are struggling, the average individual in this city are having their money stretched and the Council tax is set to rise significantly. Does the Cabinet Member agree with me and others that the idea of chucking money at your mates and their businesses or handing hundreds of thousands of pounds at external PR and media
companies to do the work that our own comms internal marketing officers should be
able to do must end now.”
Plz, let me know YOUR thoughts below!