Publicity budget soars at County Hall

PUBLICITY spending by Suffolk County Council went up by over 20 per cent to more than £3 million last year.County Hall has to record its spending on publicity in its annual accounts, and during 2002-3 the amount it spent leapt from £2.

By Paul Geater

PUBLICITY spending by Suffolk County Council went up by over 20 per cent to more than £3 million last year.

County Hall has to record its spending on publicity in its annual accounts, and during 2002-3 the amount it spent leapt from £2.49 million to £3.01 million.

Most of this spending was on recruitment advertising – which totalled £2.12 million, up from £1.67 million the previous year.


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Other advertising last year totalled £264,000 – and a total of £624,000 was spent on other publicity including running the council's press office.

That was an increase of £36,000 on the previous year.

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"Recruitment spending is the major element of our publicity work – and last year we had to spend a lot recruiting very senior people.

"To do that you have to engage a firm of headhunters and produce a brochure to attract the right level of candidate," said a council spokesman.

During the year Mike More replaced Lin Homer as chief executive after an extensive recruitment campaign and a replacement for Mr More as director of resources and finance.

Council tax protest leader Reg Hartles was unimpressed by the increase in publicity spending – or the hole in the pension fund revealed by the Star yesterday.

"It seems as if everyone is now being expected to bail out the county council – and they're preparing to shove up council tax again next year," he said.

"That's totally unacceptable. If they get into trouble they should get themselves out of it – not expect us to give them money to bail them out," he said.

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