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A Partnership of organisations in Cumbria has been shortlisted for three awards for its work to communicate and engage with local people about the Government’s search for a site for an underground repository for higher activity radioactive waste.
The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership has reached the final round for the best Community Relations campaign, the best Integrated Communications campaign and the best External Publication in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) North West PRide Awards.
The Partnership recently agreed its Final Report on the issues that would be involved in taking part in the search for a site. It was made up of a range of organisations including Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council, Cumbria County Council, other Councils in Cumbria, the Lake District National Park, Cumbria Tourism and the National Farmers Union.
The Partnership carried out three waves of public and stakeholder engagement culminating in a comprehensive consultation on its initial opinions. Significant changes were made to the Partnership’s Final Report as a result of responses to the consultation.
The Partnership’s engagement work included drop-in sessions across the county, workshops and discussion groups at schools and community organisations. Communications activity included a website, press releases, advertorials in local newspapers, newsletters sent to households in West Cumbria, adverts on billboards and buses, exhibition stands, social media and a live webcast.
The consultation pack produced by the Partnership, which has been short listed for best External Publication, included the full 127-page consultation document, an 8-page Overview and a DVD.
Councillor Elaine Woodburn, the Leader of Copeland Borough Council, a former Chair of the Partnership, says: “We’re very pleased that the work the Partnership did to communicate and engage with people has been recognised in this way.
“This is the first time the Government has given local communities so much say about a major project like this and we placed a very high priority on giving people as much chance as possible to find out more about these discussions and have their say.
“In the Final Report we also emphasised that if there is a decision to take part in the search for a site it will be important to maintain this same approach to transparency and extensive public and stakeholder engagement.”
The awards ceremony will be held on November 29 in Manchester.
CIPR CEO, Jane Wilson MCIPR, commented: “The CIPR PRide Awards celebrate the best PR and communications campaigns and teams from the profession across the UK. To be shortlisted for a CIPR PRide Award demonstrates exemplary achievement, impact and value – immediately putting your work in the spotlight.”
The judging process for the PRide Awards is rigorous with a national panel of industry experts assessing the shortlisted entries and choosing the winners. The 2012 Chairs of Judges, Gill Dandy FCIPR, Senior Consultant at The Centre for Strategy and Communication, and Chris Genasi FCIPR, Senior Consultant at APCO Worldwide, assisted in ensuring a fair and consistent judging process.
Gill Dandy, commented: “I would like to congratulate all of the individuals and teams that have been shortlisted across the twelve regions and nations in the UK. The standard of entries continues to improve year on year which demonstrates an increasingly vibrant public relations profession.”
More information about the Partnership and the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely process in West Cumbria is available at www.westcumbriamrws.org.uk.