So last week’s local elections in many parts of England produced eight more hung – or no overall control (NOC) – councils than before voters went to the polls on Thursday.
Given one of these is East Sussex County Council, I figured I should do some research as I haven’t been responsible for communications in a hung council before.
However my research hasn’t turned up the definitive guide to communications in a hung council – but I have spotted a couple of useful sources to help inform my thinking over the next few days.
First up, the Local Government Association has an interesting guide for chief executives at hung councils – based on case studies and experience from chief executives at hung councils.
Then through the power of Twitter I found this good post from Nicola Davies at Straight Bat PR. She has some really helpful tips for communicators at newly-hung councils.
What seems clear is that there’s no definitive guide to the situation – which makes sense as each council will be unique and the political and officer dynamics will be different.
Reading both these pieces, it’s clear that open communication from all involved in a new hung council is really important. Through this open communication, new working relationships can be established that are vital to the efficient running of a council.
And comms people are well placed to be facilitators of this as they are typically among the most networked and connected people in a council.