FOI reveals breakdown of communications at SBC

When Scottish Borders Council came into existence in 1996, it had one public relations officer.

By the time John Askew left the council a decade later, he headed up a team of four, dealing with media enquiries, website content, in-house publications and the issuing of press releases.

Today, a Freedom of Information response published this week has revealed, SBC’s communications and marketing team comprises eight full-time employees. There is one senior communications and marketing officer, one communications and marketing manager, three communications and marketing officers, one communications and marketing assistant and two web and digital media officers.

Last year (2013/14) the department had an annual budget of £276,323.

But the requester has been told that, with the absorption of design and print services, the budget for the new integrated service in the current financial year (2014/15) is now £546,446.

And the new department has a staff of 16, following the addition of three graphic designers, one print services manager, one document centre supervisor, two document centre operatives and one clerical assistant.

The FOI response also reveals that, in the last five years, the council has carried out no investigations into suspected leaks from its communications department to the press.