Just a fortnight after Lambeth Council said it was establishing a new company, Lambeth Communications (LamCo), which would offer communications support to local authorities across the UK, LamCo has picked up a project from Derbyshire County Council.

Lamco says its business objective is to work with local authorities across the country to ‘transform their communications’.

Now, working in partnership with social marketing consultancy The Campaign Company, LamCo’s first project outside its south London parish will to be help Derbyshire County Council engage with its local residents.

Julian Ellerby

Julian Ellerby

Lamco was launched at the Local Government Association’s annual conference in July and the team, headed up by Julian Ellerby, director of campaigns and communications at Lambeth council, said they are talking to “hundreds of figures from across local government about transforming communications in their organisations.”

Ellerby added: “We launched Lambeth Communications with a simple aim – we want to transform the way local government communicates. We’ve got a record to be proud of in Lambeth. What was once a failing and costly communications team has been completely turned around. We restructured the team and we re-focused our work. Now Lambeth runs eye-catching and award-winning campaigns alongside making over 80% savings in the communications budget since 2008.

“From conversations we have had with local authorities across the country it’s clear that there is a real demand for the services LamCo offers. It’s not about copying everything that Lambeth does in other councils. Every local authority has different needs, different priorities and different challenges, LamCo can offer a wealth of experience and strong network of partners in the private sector and in local government who can help councils improve the way they communicate.”

The chief executive of the council, Derrick Anderson, added: “LamCo will create extra income for us, which will provide more funding for services in a time of huge financial pressures. It will also aid the positioning of Lambeth as a hub for new ideas from across the country as we build strong partnerships with other authorities.”

There are already some partnership arrangements in place across the North, most notably at Blackburn with Darwen, to bring together comms teams and reduce costs/improve efficiencies but to date these concerns have been largely driven by neighbouring operations.