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Dale moves to the Dark Side

Dale moves to the Dark Side

🕔04.Oct 2016

This morning, my colleague Paul Dale has announced that he has accepted an offer to become Press Secretary to the Leader of Birmingham city council, writes Chamberlain Files editor Kevin Johnson

Paul will be part of a new office structure for the leader to bolster his political, policy and communications capability. He will start the new role in the next few weeks.

I will, of course, be disappointed to see Paul leave the role of Chief Blogger at the Chamberlain Files. He has helped to build the site and its influence in the last few years. However, he departs with my full support and every good wish.

The leader of a council, not least Birmingham city council, needs a support system to make them effective in tackling all the responsibilities and issues they face, especially in a complex and fast moving media and communications environment. I wish Paul, Cllr Clancy and his colleagues every success with the new structure. Regardless of party politics or personalities, all of us involved in Birmingham want its civic leader to be able to carry out his duties effectively.

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.

We will be continuing to publish and develop the Files. Whilst I won’t have the same expertise and quick writing of Paul to hand, I will be relying on my team across Urban Communications and RJF Public Affairs to assist me with content and looking to attract more guest blogs to the site. Do let me know if you want to contribute to that cause. Meanwhile, we have some exciting plans to share in the coming weeks which will involve the next steps for Chamberlain Files.

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….

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