Mr Downes is wrong ('High spending must stop' - December 25, 2008). The Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA) doesn't say that £500 million is being wasted by councils on useless publicity; only that councils should "trim fat" from their publicity budgets.
Neither does it say that spending on publicity by councils like Kensington and Chelsea is disappointing. In fact the Royal Borough is not singled out for special comment by the TPA.
Mr Downes is highly regarded in the world of public communications, having founded a leading public relations firm. He will no doubt have advised many organisations in the past on the importance of communicating well with people likely to be affected by their actions. We receive similar advice and follow it. Our residents expect to be informed, involved and consulted on what is happening in their neighbourhoods. Not only do we believe they have a right to be, we have a duty to make sure that they are.
We do this with one of the smallest in-house communications units in London. We bring in agencies from time to time to help us with major projects because buying in extra capacity and skill when we need it is the best use of taxpayers' money. And survey after survey shows that our residents feel better informed than in other places.
I hope it will be plain to our residents that Kensington and Chelsea is far from wasteful, on communications, or anything else.
That is why our council tax is amongst the lowest in Britain but our services are recognised, by our residents as well as by outside assessors, as being amongst the very best.
Cllr Daniel Moylan Deputy leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council