Suffolk: New �64k council spin doctor revealed

SUFFOLK County Council has finally found a new permanent head for its communications team.

Simon Higgins will take over as head of strategic communications on a salary of �64,000 a year on November 22.

Mr Higgins, who is currently a freelance communications consultant, was previously head of communications and marketing at North Tyneside council.

He will be heading up a team that is due to eventually total 18 staff. One of his first jobs will be to appoint a new chief press officer and press officer.

The appointment was confirmed yesterday following a meeting of the county’s staff appointments committee chaired by council leader Jeremy Pembroke on Wednesday.

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It was the authority’s second attempt to fill the position. The job was originally advertised in September but after interviewing a number of candidates the authority felt no one of sufficient calibre had been seen.

The job was readvertised, and Mr Higgins was successful this week.

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Sally Marlow, Head of Human Resources at the county council said: “Following a robust recruitment process Simon Higgins has been appointed to the position of Head of Strategic Communications at Suffolk County Council.

“Simon has more than 14 years experience in communications, both in the public and private sector.”

Although his salary is at the upper end of the �55,000 to �64,000 advertised for the post, Mr Higgins will be earning considerably less than the last full-time holder of the post.

Carryl Jackson was on more than �80,000 a year when she left at the start of the year. And he will also cost the council less than interim head of communications Jill Rawlins who is costing the county �800 a day – a fee of �650 a day and an agency fee of �150 a day.

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