Communities secretary Eric Pickles has agreed to meet Newspaper Society representatives over his latest crackdown on council newspapers.
The minister has pledged to give the force of law to the existing voluntary Code of Practice which aims to restrict the so-called ‘town hall pravdas’ to publishing four times a year.
But the NS, which represents the local press industry, is concerned that the clampdown may not come into force until April 2014.
This week, Mr Pickles responded to a letter from the NS requesting a meeting to discuss the timetabling issue.
Some councils such as Tower Hamlets and Greenwich Borough Council are continuing to flout the voluntary Publicity Code by publishing fortnightly or monthly newspapers.
The NS said: “Local authorities are siphoning off the primary source of revenue which enables independent local journalism to hold authorities to account on behalf of local people.
“It is vital that this unfair competition, which causes real damage to local newspapers, be stopped as a matter of urgency.”