Atherton Associates is a member of the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC).
In August 2010, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced a ban on town halls hiring lobbying firms, ostensibly in a move to prevent "shadowy figures" from pushing "more regulation and special favours". Following the publication of a survey outlining the details of 74 local authorities and police authorities that have hired lobbyists, it emerged that Penwith District Council hired Atherton Associates to persuade ministers not to replace the six district councils with a single Cornwall Council. Roger Harding, leader of the controlling Conservative Group at Penwith, remarked that:
- We employed Atherton Associates to advise us on how to put our case forward and also to make it easier to arrange a meeting with ministers — we had tried several times… In the end we managed to get one within two or three weeks.
Ms Atherton commented that:
- I was happy to help Penwith who felt their concerns were not being heard. As well as advising them I ensured their letters reached the right civil servants so they could put their case.
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