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Ex-daily journalist quits political blog to spin for council chief

paul-daleA regional daily public affairs correspondent turned political blogger has taken up a new council public relations role.

Paul Dale, left, is taking up the position of press secretary to the leader of Birmingham City Council, John Clancy.

A former staffer with the Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail, Paul has more recently served as chief blogger at The Chamberlain Files website, which provides political news in the Greater Birmingham area.

Paul’s move was announced in a piece by by the site’s editor Kevin Johnson, who said his colleague departed with his “full support and every good wish”.

He wrote: “Paul is, in my biased view, the very best example of a journalist covering municipal politics in this country. He has built upon his long experience in newspaper journalism and adapted to the world of blogs and social media with consummate ease.

“As well as reporting on events, he perhaps comes into his own with background analysis, commentary and, yes, occasional gossip.

“He is widely respected, even by those who feel the sharp end of his keyboard. I will miss our (at least) twice ‘editorial conferences’ but can’t wait to dissect the spin from the council leader’s office.

“Paul has helped Chamberlain Files to become a vital and trusted voice on local government, LEPs, Police Commissioners and the new devolution arrangements. Paul and I have worked closely together on shaping the agenda, style and tone of the Files in recent years, building on its creation by my old colleague Marc Reeves.

“I am particularly proud of our approach and content in respect of covering the aftermath of the Kerslake Review and the evolution of the West Midlands Combined Authority.”

“Paul will be around for a week or two and will be reflecting on his time as Chief Blogger as he packs up his virtual desk. I hope you enjoy his last posts and wish him well before he shifts to the dark side.”

Cllr John Clancy added: “Since becoming leader I have been keen to establish the level and nature of support required to enable me to fulfil the role of leading one of Europe’s largest local authorities.

“I believe it is important that the position of leader of the city council has appropriate resource behind it to ensure it is able to represent Birmingham to the extent to which the city’s citizens and businesses expect.

“Attracting the recent investment interest from China is just one reflection of what needs to be done to ensure we are now seen as the new inevitable first investment choice city in the UK.

“The right level of support to the leader is essential to making this happen. Consequently, I asked for two positions to be competitively recruited to – a chief of staff and a press secretary – and this process has been successful.”

4 comments

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  • October 5, 2016 at 7:55 am
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    I think too many of these council leaders have been watching too much West Wing.

    “Mr President, the Republicans are going to block your wheelie bin motion! We need to get you on CNN asap, look directly at the camera and make everyone think you’re sincere”.

    “In this chamber, when the Council Leader stands, nobody sits. (unless they have arthritis or other bona-fide equal opportunities condition”

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  • October 5, 2016 at 10:37 am
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    “a chief of staff and a press secretary”?

    So who’s footing the bill for all this self-aggrandising town hall nonsense?

    Oh yeah, the mugs known as council tax-payers.

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  • October 5, 2016 at 7:07 pm
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    Nothing to do with this story really, but a particularly self-important politician once asked me how any journalist worth his salt could work for the council.
    I wish I’d given him the list of reasons I had for applying for the post my old pal got…

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