Tories slam undemocratic’ Town Hall subsidised newspapers
TORIES will force town halls to come clean’ if they win the General Election over how much taxpayers’ money they’re pouring into their own publications which compete in the market with local newspapers. Shadow Local Government Spokesperson Caroline Spelman condemned “taxpayer funded media” in her speech to the Newspaper Society
TORIES will force town halls to come clean’ if they win the General Election over how much taxpayers’ money they’re pouring into their own publications which compete in the market with local newspapers.
Shadow Communities & Local Government spokesman Caroline Spelman condemned “taxpayer funded media” in her speech to the Newspaper Society yesterday.
She pledged a Conservative government would tighten the Local Authority Publicity Code so that any council output was focused on services and would not compete with the independent local media.
Previous changes to the Publicity Code had “opened the floodgates” of councils entering the media market with weekly publications and even local TV subsidised from taxes. Local authorities were now spending �430m on council publicity, she noted.
The Conservatives would demand councils publish online “exactly what they’re spending” with a full breakdown of print costs, design and delivery, and editorial.
You may also want to watch:
Public notices, such as planning notices, must also continue to appear in the independent free press, she stressed.
Tax-funded council weeklies first appeared in London’s cash-strapped East End when Tower Hamlets Council began its East End Life,’ which was condemned in a Commons debate earlier this year as “unfair competition” and an “attack on local democracy.”
- 1 Jailed: Cyclist who rode off after fatal collision with 'gentleman', 72
- 2 Leyton Orient still looking to add one or two new signings
- 3 Jury sent home for the day in MP Apsana Begum's trial on housing fraud charges
- 4 Leyton Orient sign Theo Archibald on loan from Lincoln City
- 5 Highest point reached on new homes in disused Bethnal Green car park
- 6 Poplar MP tells court: 'I fled home when brother said I was possessed'
- 7 John McDonnell is character witness for Poplar MP accused of housing fraud
- 8 Thames Path voted UK's No one for walking — even if blocked in places
- 9 Bidding for Harry Kane's signed jersey open in Wapping Youth FC auction
- 10 ‘Humanitarian disaster’ food shortage for East End families in poverty
It rivals the long-established East London Advertiser which has been battling for two years to find out its true cost to taxpayers. Much of it is hidden in creative council book balancing between departments, shifting funds from front-line services for advertising revenue’ to cover the true cost, thought to be around �1.5m a year.
The Advertiser regularly receives correspondence from residents furious at the subsidies the Town Hall is pouring into the publication distributed every week to 90,000 homes.