Matt Burrows, the council’s head of communications, is to leave Croydon to head up a similar department at Kent County Council.
Burrows, 32, has worked at Croydon since 2007, and his departure will be viewed as another blow to the carefully compiled team of council chief executive Jon Rouse. “Matt was exactly the sort of person the CEO wanted in that role,” Inside Croydon‘s source in Taberner House said.
Described as “very ambitious”, he was once rated at No 31 in a “40 under 40” feature in the local government magazine, The Management Journal, of council employees to watch. Then, Burrows said, “I’d like to reach head of communications, somewhere, before I’m 30.”
A former local free paper news editor, Burrows worked at Surrey County Council before joining Croydon and fulfilling his stated ambition.
At Croydon, Burrows headed up a department that ran on a £660,000 annual budget (according to the council’s most recent figures), which used to produce the Your Croydon freebie propaganda sheet.
Under orders from Big Eric Pickles at Westminster, the monthly council newspaper has recently been shelved on grounds of cost, though Croydon’s PR machine continues to issue a “magazine” version of Your Croydon to every household in the borough, while subsidising the local newspapers with extravagant advertising campaigns, including “wrap-round” ads, while having staff to set-up little-read blogs or to monitor, Big Brother-like, Croydon-related activity on Twitter.
It is not clear whether the recruiters at Kent will have seen Croydon’s most recent publicity epic, the error-strewn city bid document.
It is unclear whether Croydon will recruit to replace Burrows, or incorporate his departure into its council-wide cuts. His start date at Kent is yet to be confirmed.
Croydon press office chief Burrows did not respond to Inside Croydon‘s questions.
At Kent, Burrows joins a council which has made the most redundancies of any English council, with 3,107 jobs being lost since May 2010.
- Inside Croydon: brought to you free of charge, an independent voice standing for freedom of speech for the people of Croydon
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