Pickles renews attack on 'council propaganda'
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has renewed his attack on local authority publicity free-sheets, penning a letter to newspaper bosses in which he pledges to end ‘Town Hall Pravdas’.
Mr Pickles' letter to the Newspaper Society follows on from the announcement in last week’s Queen’s Speech of the Local Audit and Accountability Bill, which contains provisions to put the current council publicity code on a formal legal footing.
In the letter, Mr Pickles states his belief the 1,100 local newspapers ‘are the heartbeat of communities, an essential cog in the democratic wheel and exemplary localists’.
He branded the spread of the Town Hall ‘Pravda’ as manifestly unfair ‘because they offer cut price local news, but mixed in with council propaganda that pours taxpayers money down the drain’.
‘These free-sheets are often confused for the real thing by residents. I want our news to be told and sold under the masthead of an independent and free press, not through a knock-off Rolex imitation,’ Pickles stated.
Excellent, value for money, Council services speak for themselves. Councils do not have to advertise and sell anything, to receive the money they have pick pocketed from us. They have local Cllrs to pass on news and be answerable to any queries. But its damn good way to put over an often distorted political message to blame someone else of your own failingsJ Smith, Added: Saturday, 18 May 2013 11:30 PM
When is this buffoon going to give up with his blustering and posturing and do something that actually helps local government meet the challenges set by him and his fellow loud mouths at DCLG? Does he ever actually read local papers and the distorted version of even the simplest and most straightforward story, when it suits them? How does he suggest councils inform taxpayers, when its what the press consider to e a non-story? Free independent press, who is he kidding?Roger Gambba-Jones, Lincolnshire, Added: Friday, 17 May 2013 03:06 PM
It's only 'propaganda' when Our Eric doesn't agree with it. Of course, if Government policies were being promoted by the councils that that would be OK wouldn't it? Next thing you know he'll be seeking to have councils he doesn't like taken over by ones he does, like his heroine Mrs. Thatcher did when she abolished the Met counties.Fat cat, West Midlands, Added: Friday, 17 May 2013 02:57 PM
Good luck with that. We found up here they they just shifted the guff, cost & resources to a website. Still, all the propaganda can give you a laugh. The Lambeth one is particularly good for that. - Its not the worst example of wasting the few taxpayers money. .J Smith, Added: Friday, 17 May 2013 02:34 PM
"Pravda" is Russian for truth but all you get in local papers are facts. The single skill requirement for local journalists is to use "copy and paste". This reflect the big corporate interests that now run papers for exclusively commercial reasons. Eric Piffles should be given something useful to do like volunteering to help with the few remaining weekly bin collections. Talked so much rubbish time now to 'give something back'.Patrick Newman, ex local government, Stevenage, Added: Friday, 17 May 2013 02:10 PM
Using Pickles' primary school logic, presumably this means anything from central government is also propaganda? What these publications mostly offer is scandalous politicising, like which day to put your bins out and the like. Best leave this type of stuff to the local press and their illuminating letter pages with contributions from Mr and Mrs Brain Cell from the strangling and burn all immigrants society.R Owen, Added: Friday, 17 May 2013 02:01 PM
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