About us

LGcommunications (LGcomms) is a national body made up of an association of organisations working together to raise the standard of communications in the public sector.

We hold regular seminars, produce publications and briefings on current communications topics, run a training programme for talented Future Leaders and hold a flagship annual Academy – our national conference.

It costs just £250 (+VAT) per year for your whole organisation to enjoy full LGcomms membership benefits.

We’re committed to creating an inclusive future for public sector communications. Read our diversity and inclusion statement.

The LGcomms Executive Committee: senior officers

Alix Macfarlane

Alix Macfarlane
Joint Chair

As Joint Chair for 2022/23, I’m looking forward to continuing to build on our commitment to create an inclusive future for public sector communications.

I’ll be bringing my two years of experience as Chair of LGcomms to our new leadership arrangements. I’m keen to deliver more value for our members and to explore new ways to build our organisation as we emerge from the intense pressures of the pandemic years.

Our organisation has a key role to play in helping navigate the current times. It’s a privilege to be part of the leadership of LGcomms and to work alongside some of the best professionals in our industry in our executive committee, our members, and our partners.

I’ve been a member of the LGcomms executive committee for more than four years, joining the team after completing the LGcomms Future Leaders programme. The benefits of LGcomms are far reaching across all our activities, it’s an excellent organisation to be part of. I am very proud to be at the forefront of shaping the way forward with a collaborative and innovative approach.

I moved into the rewarding world of public sector communications after starting my career in print journalism. My experience in local government spans more than a decade. I’ve held senior roles in both a busy unitary authority and a large county council in the south of England.  

Andy Allsopp, Essex County Council
Joint Chair

Andy Allsopp is Head of Profession for Communications and Marketing at Essex County Council.

A multi-award winning communications professional, Andy was a print journalist before beginning his communications career with the NHS in London, before becoming national media relations manager with Age Concern England. He joined Suffolk County Council in 2001, the beginning of a 20-year career in local government. Over the last seven years in Essex, he has led the County Council’s successful and bold shift to a consultancy-led and devolved approach to marcomms.

Emma Rodgers, Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Vice Chair

I’m honoured to be entering my seventh year as vice-chair for LGcomms. The sector has undergone radical change during that time but at the heart of our industry still remains the requirement for honest, creative and diverse  communications and that is genuinely what makes local government so unique. What other pr role would cover 700 services ranging from trading standards to social care to children’s services? And that’s why LGcomms is so important.

Our aim is to improve the standard of communications across the sector and support our hard-working members up and down the country with a number of benefits whether it’s peer support, idea exchanges, networking and or professional development. I’ve always found local government communicators the most generous in their open support for each other and I want LGcomms to embody that spirit wholeheartedly. In my day job as head of communications for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, a large unitary in the West Midlands, I benefit hugely being part of LGcomms and I want to us to do all we can to make sure all our members get that same experience. That’s never been more important than it is right now.    

Dani Clayton, Leeds City Council
Vice Chair

As a former Future Leader I benefited from LGcomms, not just personally and professionally, but in bringing that back to the team and council in Leeds where I’ve worked in a senior role for the past 12 years and led the team for the past two. Since I joined the Exec four years ago I’ve supported further cohorts through leading on the programme as an organiser and mentor, and helped to shape and deliver Academy; bringing together communications professionals at all levels from across the country to network, share experiences, learn from each other and develop our skills on the most important and pressing issues facing us all. Now, more than ever, those opportunities to collaborate, progress, and strengthen relationships with each other are vital.

I’m delighted to have been re-appointed as Vice Chair alongside Emma, Ben and Andy as the rest of the Exec Committee. I first met our current Chair on the programme as a peer, and then worked closely with her as an exec job-share and am proud to be supporting her now. The past year has been even more challenging than I imagine any of us first thought when the directive to work from home and first lockdown started a year ago, but along with the challenges of Covid have come opportunities and positives and I’m keen to ensure we make the most of these. I’m proud that we’ve recruited and set underway our first virtual Future Leaders programme, although I look forward to being able to meet them in person later this year and for us to get back to doing more of the face to face meetings and trainings which LGcomms does so well. I’m keen for us to continue to expand and grow our membership and influence, reflect and represent the diversity of our industry, and to lead and champion excellent communications in local government and the public sector

Zander Mills, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue
Vice Chair

Zander has worked in public relations for more than 15 years- 12 of them spent within the fire and rescue service. He is currently Corporate Communication Manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, leading a team which has won multiple awards for its delivery of properly planned, properly measured behaviour change campaigns. He has previously been a national chair of FirePRO, which represents communicators working in the fire and rescue service and has been a member of the LGcomms Executive Committee since 2018.

Andrew Hadfield-Ames, Hertfordshire County Council
National Secretary

Andrew has almost 20 years’ experience in press, public affairs and campaigns. He has learnt from the best in the public and private sector, to deliver an evidence based approach.

He has been the Head of Communications at Hertfordshire County Council since 2016, managing an award winning team. He is the National Secretary and Member of the Executive Committee of LGcomms, regularly contributes to a number of speaking opportunities and supports the Future Leader Programme to train the next generation of local government communicators.

Ben Knowles, Hounslow Council
Treasurer

Local government communications is the most challenging, diverse and rewarding comms role there is. Nowhere else do you cover such a broad remit, interact with so many different people and subjects, and deliver work which directly affects the communities you see around you.

As such, it’s full of talented, creative and dedicated people who want to make a difference. Connecting these people, sharing ideas and best practice, supporting each other, and upping the influence and quality of comms in the sector is what LGcomms is all about. At the moment, that feels more important than ever. 

It’s a sector I’m passionate about – if you couldn’t tell by now – and one where, after leaving journalism, I’ve made my home for the last 11 years; first at the Local Government Association, then Hackney and now Hounslow. This is my fifth year on the LGcomms Executive Committee.

LGcomms Executive Committee 2022: Full list of members

Abby Barton, Head of Communications, Monmouthshire County Council and Pembrokeshire County Council

Adam Keating, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Alix Macfarlane, West Sussex County Council

Andrea Newman, Surrey County Council

Andrew Hadfield-Ames, Hertfordshire County Council

Andy Allsopp, Essex County Council

Ben Knowles, London Borough of Hounslow

Bridget Aherne, Head of Marketing and Communications, Bradford Council

Carly Davis, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Caroline Binnie, Falkirk Council

Dani Clayton, Leeds City Council

Darren Caveney, Comms2Point0

Eddie Coates-Madden, Head of Communications and Marketing, City of York Council

Emma Rodgers, Stoke on Trent City Council

Francis Ingham, PRCA

Gabrielle Mancini, Service Lead- Customer Engagement and Transformation, West Berkshire Council

Georgia Turner, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

Hannah Clubb, Sussex Health and Care Partnership, NHS

Harri Robinson, NHS

Hayley Lancaster, Caerphilly County Borough Council

Helen Newton, Head of Stakeholder and Community Engagement (interim), London Fire Brigade

Jessica Fewkes, Islington Council

Julie Odams, Derbyshire County Council

Karen Yates, Communications and Marketing Manager, Essex County Council (ECC)

Louisa Dean, Head of Communications, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and Reading Borough Council

Lucy Downham, Wigan Council

Mark Miller, West Suffolk Council

Matt Nicholls, LGA

Michael Moore, Cheshire East Council

Michael Stringer, Surrey County Council

Nick Thompson, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Shaun Gibbons,  South Holland District Council

Simon Jones, Westminster City Council

Victoria Hardcastle, St Helens Council

Zander  Mills, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

LGcomms constitution

Download and read a copy of our most recent constitution from 2018.