About us

LGcommunications (LGcomms) is a national body made up of an association of authorities that works to raise the standard of communications in local government.

We hold regular seminars in different regions of the country, 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.

The committee

Alix MacFarlane

Alix Macfarlane, Brighton & Hove City Council
Chair

I’m determined to support all our members as we work together to raise the standard of communications in local government.

As chair, I’m a proud champion for our profession and all members of LGcomms. During the three years I’ve been part of LGcomms, I’ve hugely enjoyed the training, networking and support on offer. I’m enthusiastic about all we provide and will build our offer to further meet member needs.

I’m keen to ensure we are truly representing all in our network as go forward. I’m committed to developing our investment in our communicators to become not just leaders of communications but of local government as a whole.

Being elected to the chair role during a national crisis is an interesting experience. The pandemic is having an impact on all we do. Our organisation has a key role to play in helping navigate the current times and prepare for what is ahead. It’s a privilege to be chair of our organisation in this turbulent year.

Aside from my LGcomms role, I live in Brighton & Hove, a city I adore and have been a resident of for 30 years. I’m a senior comms professional, working in-house at one of the UK’s busiest and most politically complex local authorities. 

Emma Rodgers

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

I’m honoured to be entering my sixth year as vice-chair for lgcommunications. 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 Lgcommunications 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 lgcommunications 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 lgcommunications 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.    

Danielle Clayton
Danielle Clayton

Danielle 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. Since I joined the Exec three years ago I’ve supported further cohorts 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 therefore honoured to have been appointed Vice Chair alongside Emma, who first recruited me to Future Leaders. I met our new Chair on the programme as a peer, and then worked closely with her as an Exec job-share (where else could you get a Leeds/Brighton job share?!) I’m proud to be supporting her now as part of the team taking LGcomms forward in some challenging circumstances. I’m also proud to be a Loiner and from Yorkshire, though I won’t restart the furore over tea again… (everyone with taste knows it’s Yorkshire all the way anyway.)

Francis Ingham

Francis Ingham, LGcomms
Executive Director

The value and purpose of LGcomms has never been more obvious than during the nation’s COVID crisis. We have always appreciated the centrality of communications to public services, but that importance has been underscored many times during this current period.

As LGComms’ Executive Director for the past few years, it’s been my pleasure to work with colleagues to build the organisation and to enhance the value that it delivers. Having worked in local Government; been a Councillor; and served on various LGA executives, it’s a role I find comes naturally, and it’s a pleasure to contribute to LGComms’ development. Separate to my work with LGComms, I’m Director General of the PRCA, the world’s largest PR body; and Chief Executive of ICCO, the umbrella group that brings together 41 PR associations from around the world. So I’d like to think I bring an informed perspective on the challenges and opportunities in front of our industry

Andy Allsopp
Andy Allsopp

Andy Allsopp, Essex County Council
National Secretary

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 an 19-year career in local government. Over the last six years in Essex, he has led the County Council’s successful and bold shift to a consultancy-led and devolved approach to marcomms.  

Ben Knowles

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 10 years; first at the Local Government Association, then Hackney and now Hounslow. This is my fourth year on the LGcomms Executive Committee.

The new Executive is made up of 28 people:

Camilla Mankabady, Liverpool
Carly Davis, Waltham Forest
Florence Obbina, Hackney Council
Georgia Turner, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole
Harriet Shore, Westminster
Hayley Lancaster, Caerphilly County Borough Council
Michel Moore, Cheshire East
Peter Holt, South Northants
Ruth Fry, Perth and Kinross
Shaun Gibbons, South Holland
Alex Mills, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Alix Macfarlane, Brighton & Hove City Council
Andrew Hadfield, Hertfordshire County Council
Andy Allsopp, Essex County Council
Ben Knowles, Hounslow Council
Caroline Binnie, Falkirk Council
Danielle Clayton, Leeds City Council
Eleri Roberts, Birmingham City Council
Emma Rodgers, Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Francis Ingham, PRCA
Hannah Clubb, West Sussex County Council
Harri Robinson, Waverley Borough Council
Josh Warwick, LGA
Julie Odams, Derbyshire County Council
Mark Miller, West Suffolk Council
Martin Szybut, Sutton Council
Matt Nicholls, LGA
Nick Thomspon, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

LGCommunications Constitution

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