New spin doctor at the county

SUFFOLK: With the county’s head of communications still on leave, a new senior spinner has moved into Endeavour House.

Giles Roca has been head of communications at neighbouring Essex County Council for several years and is now spending three days a week in Suffolk.

He is looking at how the communications team works at the county council and is supporting the press officers and managers while Suffolk’s own communications chief Caryl Jackson is on leave.

She has been away from work since Christmas. She was on holiday and then developed an illness which kept her away from her desk.

Ms Jackson is still away from work and her colleagues still do not know when she is likely to return.

Meanwhile Mr Roca is conducting a thorough review of the way the department works – and is speaking to councillors, officers and outside organisations to see how things can be improved.

Earlier this year the Evening Star revealed that the number of full-time spin doctors employed by the county has fallen by nearly a third over the last year– but the cost of salaries in the department had exploded.

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This was partly because while several staff had left, their replacements were taken on with temporary contracts which are not included in staff numbers.

Since the middle of 2009 two of the senior external communications managers at the county council have left, a third has moved to another position within the authority and a fourth has been on long-term sick leave since last August.

What should happen to the county’s communications team? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail