Harborough

“Managing reputation during transformational change”

Local authorities across the country are grappling with the challenges of budget cuts and a more localist approach. Linstock helped this council manage communication challenges on multiple fronts during a period of unprecedented change.

Brief
Harborough District Council had agreed a transformation programme to improve services and save money. Not only were services and structures being re-organised, but the council’s property portfolio was being rationalised; work that has caused concern among local people over the future of the council-owned Market Hall. Linstock was brought in to advise on internal and external communication, to manage public consultation over the redevelopment of the Market Hall and council headquarters, and to advise on communicating changes to the waste collection system in the district.

Activity
Working closely with staff across the authority, Linstock created a communications plan for each work stream of the transformation programme and got the buy in of Council Members. We drafted internal communications materials, set up and managed a series of community consultation exercises, advised on engagement with the media and provided media training services.

Results
Hundreds of people were able to engage face to face with the council over the use of property in the town centre. Media coverage of the changes was balanced and accurate and local people reacted well to plans for development of the Market Hall. The transformation of the council HQ was shortlisted for a Local Government Chronicle award for community investment.

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