Friday, 11 February 2011

Pickles presses on with curbs on council papers

Communities secretary Eric Pickles is pushing forward with plans to curb town hall 'pravdas', with a four-a-year limit on publications.

He has published a revised Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity following a consultation period, which sees his main proposals on council newspapers remain intact.

The new rules are expected to come into force in April and will also prevent councils from hiring lobbyists and prevent council advertising from being politicised.

Mr Pickles said the existing rules had been 'too weak for too long' and had left many local newspapers 'looking over the abyss'.

LGA chairman Baroness Margaret Eaton said: "If the Department for Communities and Local Government was truly committed to localism it would not be introducing draconian rules dictating to councils how often they are allowed to share information with residents.

My comment: What Baroness Eaton fails to mention is that councils don't just use their in house newspapers to share information with residents they also use them for propaganda and spin. And as chair of the LGA, the collective propaganda/spin machine for local government, she must know that. Taxpayers money should not be used by local government to lobby the government and neither should it be used to spin the news or as a conduit for propaganda.

Read the full story from the source Hold the Front Page

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