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Departmental Communications

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture and Sport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) press officers, (b) internal communications officers, (c) external communications officers, (d) communications strategy officers and (e) other positions with a communications remit were employed by (i) his Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) each non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department on the most recent date for which figures are available.

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

All departmental staff employed in communications roles are members of the Department’s Communication Directorate, which comprises external communications division and corporate communications division, managed by the Director of Communication.

At the time the current Administration took office in May 2010, the Department employed 72 people with a communications remit. As at 30 November 2011, there are 52 staff working in communication roles in the Department. As part of the Department’s organisational restructuring, the Communication Directorate’s staffing levels will decrease further during 2012, with seven members of staff leaving by April.

Of the current staffing: external communications currently employs 25 communications officers working on a combination of press, marketing, speechwriting and news planning. This equates to 23.4 full-time equivalent posts, as some members of staff are employed part time. There are 15 people who work predominantly on press office duties.

Corporate communications currently employs 23 communications officers working on internal communication, web management, print/publishing and the Info4Local internet service. This equates to 22.6 full-time equivalent posts. Four other communications specialists within Communication Directorate work directly with policy directorates.

The Department does not hold a comprehensive, up-to-date record of the communications posts across all of its public bodies. However, the Department and its public bodies are increasingly working together to provide communication services more efficiently, reflecting the best practice that we are encouraging local government to follow. The number of communication specialists across the Department and its public bodies will be reduced by a further 17 full-time equivalent posts by October 2012.

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