Council Newspapers – Pickles Blunders again
Liberal Democrats have reacted angrily to new government proposals to limit the ability of councils to communicate with their electorates. Cllr
The fact is that things have changed since Eric was a lad! The number of people who read local newspapers is a small fraction of what it once was. Free newspapers do not go out in many parts of the Country. The Council and other parts of the public sector have a need and a duty to let all citizens know what is happening.
If the government wants to cut costs they need to look at how all the public sector spends its money on marketing, publicity and information services. If they do that we can ensure that money is well spent and that information is given to people in a timely and accessible way.
The truth is that council newspapers and magazines in the vast majority of places do not compete with the private sector. They provide a unique information service to keep residents informed. Keeping people informed is a major part of the ‘Big Society’ that the government is seeking to introduce because unless they are informed they cannot get involved or empowered. This proposal from Mr. Pickles then is in direct opposition to the views of his own Prime Minister”.
If residents think that their council produces too much literature then they can make this very clear by contacting their councils and councillors whenever they choose; and by making their views clear via the ballot box at election time. It should be local people saying how often councils should do things like this, not central diktat from Whitehall.