Spin doctor appointed by county senior trio

SUFFOLK: Three senior figures at the county decided on the controversial fees and appointment of new interim spin doctor Jill Rawlins.

A Freedom of Information request submitted to the county council revealed that director of resource management Graham Dixon felt it was necessary to appoint an interim head of communications following the departure of former head Caryl Jackson earlier this year.

While Ms Jackson was on leave – but before she formally left Endeavour House – Essex county council’s head of communications Giles Roca was called in to produce a report about the way the department operates in Suffolk.

This proposed a total shake-up, with all the council’s communications being brought under a single department and a reduction in the total number of staff working in communications and marketing.

Mr Dixon felt this restructuring could not be carried out without someone at the head of the department and, together with council chief executive Andrea Hill and leader Jeremy Pembroke, he set about the search.

The fees to be paid were decided by those three.

Because it is only a temporary post, it did not need to go to councillors.

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Four agencies were asked to look for candidates for the role – Gateby Sanderson, Summit, Veredus and Odgers.

Odgers were successful.