A PUBLIC affairs and communications agency which specialises in local government has hired the recently ousted leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council.

Cratus Communications said Cllr Vikki Slade would work three days a week at its Southampton office on projects outside the area where she led the council.

She remains a Liberal Democrat councillor for the Broadstone ward in Poole.

Cllr Slade led a multi-party coalition known as the Unity Alliance on BCP Council from May 2019 until September this year.

She was deposed in a vote of confidence called by the Conservatives following the deaths of two alliance councillors and a defection from the group.

Nick Kilby, chief executive of Cratus, said: “We are delighted to welcome Vikki to the company. She will make a great colleague, strengthening our understanding and knowledge of local government in these unprecedented times.

“Her experience and insight leading a brand new unitary authority will be incredibly valuable for our team and clients alike, and we are very much looking forward to working with her.

“However we fully appreciate that her first responsibility is for the residents in her ward, who she will continue to serve.”

Cllr Slade said: “I am delighted to be joining an organisation with such a good reputation in local government and a real commitment to engagement.

“I hope that my experience leading the newest city-region, in building a multi-party alliance and in engaging with residents, stakeholders and partners will help both local government and private sector clients to improve their community engagement and consultation programmes whilst remaining committed to my work in BCP to support not only my residents but to hold the new administration to account through scrutiny and constructive challenge.”

The agency employs a number of elected representatives with their own areas of expertise. It abides by the Public Affairs Board’s Public Affairs Code and its own code of conduct.

Other new recent recruits to the agency include former chief planner Steve Quartermain, former Crest Nicholson director Chris Tinker and former Trafford Council leader Cllr Sean Anstee.