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Tower Hamlets denies taxpayers will pay £400,000 extra for council paper's advertsing shortfall

PUBLISHED: 19:00 07 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:49 05 October 2010

By Else Kvist Tower Hamlets Council claims the £400,000 shortfall in advertising revenue suffered by its newssheet East End Life will be covered by existing council savings. It comes after Tory opposi

By Else Kvist

Tower Hamlets Council claims the £400,000 shortfall in advertising revenue suffered by its newssheet East End Life will be covered by existing council savings.

It comes after Tory opposition councillor Tim Archer said a budget report had revealed that the council paper's advertising revenue was down by £396,000.

Cllr Archer, who has called for the "council propaganda paper" to be scrapped, said the shortfall would need to be paid for by council taxpayers, who he says are already paying on average around £10 a year for the 'free sheet'.

A council spokesman said: "We can confirm that any shortfall will be met within existing efficiencies and savings. There will not be any extra cost to the council taxpayer. The figures forecast are a worst-case scenario and an aid to forward planning."

The Labour-run council claims East End Life costs taxpayers £118,000 a year. The rest of its £1.56 million cost, it says, is covered by advertising income.

But a newspaper investigation found that public-sector organisations paid a total of £980,000 to advertise in East End Life, making the true cost to the public purse £1.1 million a year.


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