Headlines: December 17th, 2007

Local Government has a new brand. Called ‘My Council’ it has been launched by the Local Government Association and has been designed to show people the range of services that councils provide and how they offer value for money.

The new brand was initially developed as ‘My County Council’ by the authority in Northamptonshire, where it helped to make the council one of the most improved county authorities in terms of how informed residents felt. It will now be available for all councils to use in the hope that people will link popular services that they use to their council.

Design templates have been sent to all county councils in time for Christmas and New Year for use in publications and on poster sites. The LGA is now working on similar templates for district and metropolitan councils and these will be available in the new year. Councils will also get guidance highlighting examples of good practice communications.

Sir Simon Milton, the Chairman of the LGA, said, “Councils make a real difference to people’s everyday lives but all too often the general public is unaware of the huge range of services provided with their council tax. Councils are always recognised for the necessary but unpopular things they do from council tax bills and parking fines to court summonses and ‘no ball game’ signs but our sector’s reputation also relies on residents connecting more human services with their council.”

He said the new brand was effective and easy and cheap to use and the first wave of posters would remind people over the festive period that it is councils that make sure toys that get opened on Christmas Day are safe. “This year’s Best Commission pointed out both that the LGA needs to work on the national brand of local government and also that it has much to learn from local authorities. We very much hope that this poster campaign can have as much success right across the country as it has had in Northamptonshire,” Sir Simon added.