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‘Communications’ at Pemrokeshire County Council under scrutiny

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council needs to “get the basics right” before spending £100,000 on communication officers, members have said.

A review of Pembrokeshire County Council’s communications included press, media, public relations, consultations and staffing structure with results and recommendations brought to scrutiny last week.

At policy and pre-decision overview and scrutiny on Tuesday (November 12) Cllr Huw George said he disagreed with a recommendation to spend £100,000 on three posts when people waited over an hour to get through to speak to someone at the council via its contact centre.

“If you’re going to spend £100,000, spend it on employees that talk to members of the public rather than employees that talk too each other,” he said, adding that the basics needed to be done first.

Cabinet member for transformation Cllr Neil Prior said he also disagreed with the proposal to make investment in a communication team without a strategy first.

He added that the contact centre was one part of the council’s communication and the review had looked at more than one area.

The recommendations made include developing a communication strategy, which Cllr Michelle Bateman, communication champion, said should be a “strategic corporate narrative.”

Committee chairman Cllr Joshua Beynon added an amendment that a review of the council’s communication by the Local Government association be commissioned, which was agreed by the committee.

This, along with the report’s recommendations, will be discussed by cabinet.

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