Dan Peters 20 December 2013

Lewis in renewed attack on 'harmful' town hall pravdas

Local government minister Brandon Lewis has launched another broadside against so-called town hall pravdas for being ‘harmful to local democracy’.

Speaking after MPs debated the Local Audit and Accountability Bill this week, Mr Lewis hit back at ‘inaccurate reports’ that the proposed legislation aimed to censor councils.

Mr Lewis insisted council magazines were ‘unfair competition’ to the commercial press and a ‘corrosive abuse of taxpayers’ money’.

He said: ‘Localism needs robust local scrutiny by an independent free press.

‘Councils should be looking to cut out waste and unnecessary spending to help pay off the deficit inherited by the last administration, including stopping weekly town hall pravdas.

‘Yet it is astonishing that some councils are actively spending up to £20m of taxpayers’ money on more propaganda on the rates.’

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