Statement on Director of Public Affairs and Communications

By on 02/06/2010 in News

~2532233Birmingham City Council can confirm that Debra Davis, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, will leave her post in mid July after a period of annual leave.

Debra was appointed to the position with the city council in January 2007 with the mandate to improve news management and reorganise communications so that it was corporately managed, cost effective and more strategic in its planning. 

On her departure, Sharon Lea, Strategic Director of Environment & Culture, will take over responsibility for the Public Affairs and Communications Division (PAC). This move will enable PAC to work more closely with the sport and events' team, already managed by Sharon.

Debra Davis said:  “I was asked to do a job. The restructure is being implemented.  Efficiencies have been achieved and the council's profile in the news - online and in the broadcast and print media - has greatly improved.

“Now I want to move on, promoting Birmingham in another and very high profile way with City TV Birmingham.  It promises to be a major platform for local news, current affairs, entertainment, sport and lifestyle - showing audiences just what the city stands for. This was never as important as it is now with the city bidding for the UK City of Culture.”

Birmingham City Council Chief Executive, Stephen Hughes, said: “Debra is leaving the council to pursue other interests. She has made significant progress in re-organising the communications' team, and after three years it is the right time for her to move on.”

Cllr Alan Rudge, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Human Resources said: “Debra has shown great determination, commitment and skill in leading the challenging task to reorganise communications and its structures across the council.  We look forward to working with her to promote the city of Birmingham.”

Debra added that she would be using a large amount of accrued annual leave to spend a month in Canada working, amongst other things, on the campaign to elect George Smitherman, former Ontario Minister of Health and Deputy Premier, as Mayor of Toronto. And on her return she would assume responsibilities as Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the City TV Group.

Notes to editors

1. Between 1979 and 1997 Debra held a series of political roles in Canada working for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (1979-84), Prime Minister John Turner (1988) and Prime Minister Jean Chretien (1984, 1989-1997). She was appointed to the Canadian High Commission in London in 1997 as Counsellor (Public Affairs).

Following her posting at the Canadian High Commission, Debra decided to remain in the UK and offer social marketing and communications support to a variety of clients. Debra was the managing director of Canadians in Europe profiling leading thinkers in a series of 30 events over three years. She also co-created a number of packages for television and film during this period.

Debra is a founding board member of the Arab International Women's Forum and will continue with her interest in strengthening links with the Arab world.

2. Birmingham City Council's online press office, birminghamnewsroom.com, has won a 'Digital Innovation Award' in the Midlands Media Awards 2010 and a silver award for 'Digital and Social Media' in the LGA-LGcomms reputation Campaign Awards 2010.

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