Salford City Council is spending nearly £28,000 a month on its own newsletter, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Online magazine the Salford Star says that ‘Life in Salford’ is costing local taxpayers more than £333,000 per year, based on figures for the eight issues covering March to October last year.
The Star reports: “In the October 2009 issue of Salford Council’s Life In Salford, a lady…..wrote in saying that she’d like to see the magazine scrapped and the money spent on ‘necessities and not sending free magazines to all the households in Salford’.
“The reply, presumably from the Council, stated that ‘If we stopped producing the magazine we would not save any money as we would have to publish all our notices in a newspaper…..and place adverts for events like Proms in the Park in local newspapers…..’
“For the vast majority of people living in Salford there is no ‘local newspaper’ unless they’re willing to fork out for it in local newsagents.
“Is it pure co-incidence that ten months on since Salford Council withdrew thousands of pounds worth of its advertising from the Salford Advertiser, the paper is no longer being delivered free to homes in Salford?”
The Star breaks down the FoI figures it obtained, claiming average monthly printing and distribution costs were £13,464, staffing costs of £1,870 per issue and a monthly subsidy of £4,583.
It said: “What Salford Council spends just on staff for Life magazine per month would sustain the printing and production of the Salford Star indefinitely.”
The eight issues of Life in Salford also carried advertising from outside the council such as the NHS and government departments, adds the Star.
Salford City Council had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
Rob (02/02/2010 12:08:16)
If the Salford star can be printed and produced for £1,870 a month then maybe they should think about getting in better ad sales staff. I reckon I could sell at least triple that in advertising space in a month. Enough to cover my wages, the production an printing costs and leave shareholders with a tidy 33 percent profit. Not bad in these straightened times.
Bluestringer (02/02/2010 13:09:08)
Rob, I think you’re rather missing the point, old sport.
Alan Salter (03/02/2010 09:59:00)
I emailed the council leader when this row first emerged last year and offered to do the job – minus printing – for a few hundred a month.