Hard Fi Gig a Council PR Disaster

07:14 Friday 6th July 2012
Petereborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Mike’s been on this morning on text. He says “Hello Paul. I think your show has been blacklisted by the Council. These days, when you want to ask critical questions, they refuse to come on to your show. It all seemed to start after you started asking relevant questions about ¬†Children’s Services in the city.” says Mike. We are still searching for answers over this Hard-Fi gig Ed, and I wonder whether you’ve got an opinion on it. Because to apply for a licence to raise the capacity to 15,000 suggests, well a: it was last minute, so there was panic. It suggests that Enterprise and Vivacity thought, Oh, we might have more than 5,000 people. Now we are being told, no, no, it’s all right. There’ll only be 5,000. But we don’t know if people are going to be allowed in if you’re 5,002 or 5,003. And nobody from this big pow-wow yesterday has come on this show to answer questions for the public of Peterborough this morning.
ED MURPHY COUNCILLOR: Well let’s get the risk assessment published. There will have been work done on that, and it is a document that everybody should be entitled to see. They do plan for these things. I don’t know how well they plan in Peterborough. I find it astonishing that the local authority, over a¬†number of months now, have not been responding to the media in Peterborough, and particularly your show, which is THE media in Peterborough.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. Should we stop asking critical questions? Is that the problem, do you think Ed?
ED MURPHY COUNCILLOR: No. I think you need to continue asking critical questions. I don’t know whether they haven’t got the capacity. They pay people as special advisers to be communications advisers to the Cabinet. I don’t know what it is. I understand there have been people pushed out of employment in the Council. I think the spokespeople need to realise that’s what they are. That’s what the public expects from them. And don’t blame the officers. If you’re shy, don’t take on the role. Get some training. But just keep talking. The facts are the facts. And whatever you try and do, most of them will eventually come out. Tell the truth. If you made mistakes, put your hands up and learn from your mistakes.
PAUL STAINTON: And I have to say, whether it’s good news or bad Ed Murphy, you do come on the show. So thank you very much for that. Sometimes you get a kicking, and sometimes you don’t. But he always comes on. But there are questions that we need answering, I think, before Hard Fi come tomorrow. Hopefully it will all go off fine. But how to turn a good news story into a bad news story. There’s an absolute object lesson in how to do it between Enterprise, Vivacity and Peterborough City Council.