Monday, January 25, 2010

More scandal at the town hall

So, the Audit Commission doesn’t think local councils are misusing public funds by producing their own papers. No surprises there.

And equally without shock value is the news that that the Newspaper Society is now calling for the OFT to examine the “damaging impact” on local media businesses.

Two questions: Are these the correct bodies to be dealing with this issue in the first place? And what happened to Lord Mandelson’s pledge of support?

Chief executive Steve Bundred didn’t seem to think that these freesheets were published often enough “to be viable media for most local advertising”. Someone needs to tell him just how little there is to go around.

And he didn’t seem to think that councils were using public money to further their political agendas, saying there were “adequate safeguards”. Someone needs to show him one.

If all else fails, may I suggest a few editors offer their services to empty dustbins? Bad example. It was going through a councillor leader’s dustbin a few years back that got me the sort of splash that you’d never see in Town Hall Today.

Actually, not such a bad example, come to think of it.

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