AddThis SmartLayers

Fresh snag for mag's bid to get back in print

An independent magazine’s bid to get back into print has been thwarted after a community group rejected its plea for a grant.

The Salford Star, now online only, has applied for help from three of Salford City Council’s eight ‘community committees’ which are made up of councillors and residents and aimed at helping local projects.

The Star claimed the council’s legal team had told members of the East Salford committee that they would be breaking the law if the magazine received any funding because it criticised the authority.

Star editor Stephen Kingston told HTFP: “The East Salford Community Committee did not actually decide anything as they were told they would be ‘breaking the law’ if they agreed to Salford Star funding.

“This has been confirmed by a member of the East Salford Community Committee Budget Sub Group. We have asked for an apology from Salford City Council but as yet we have heard nothing.

“It seems that the council is trying to pass the buck onto the Community Committees when, in fact, the decision not to fund was taken by the council itself.”

The Star, which is run by volunteers, submitted applications for £2,500 and two for £500 respectively. A print version of the magazine costs around £7,000 to produce and the remaining half of the money would be collected through advertising, donations and merchandise sales.

It published its last print product in autumn 2008 and has been an online only news service since, producing just one magazine as a PDF version in in April last year.

Following the rejection, Salford Youth Council passed an emergency motion condemning the decision and vowed to boycott the council’s own Life In Salford magazine, which the Star recently reported cost around £28,000 per issue.

Sue Lightup, Salford City Council’s strategic director for community, health and social care, said it was a matter for each committee to decide how it spent its money.

“We received our first application from a publication for community committee funding in 2007 and as a result we put in place some guidelines so that we can demonstrate fairness and transparency when deciding on funding applications,” she said.

“These are the same guidelines we’re using today and all applications for funding are considered as part of a formal process involving the relevant community committees.

“In this case, the East Salford Community Committee decided that the Salford Star did not meet the criteria and therefore did not accept the application for funding.

“If the Salford Star is not happy about the decision, the guidance allows for an appeal to be presented to the cabinet to consider.”


Alan Salter (31/03/2010 09:52:37)
Come on Salford City Council, you know it makes sense!

Onlooker (31/03/2010 10:38:24)
If the Star was staffed by members of the ‘transgendered community’ or run for the benefit of Peruvian hamster breeders, it would have got funding. It isn’t so it hasn’t. Quelle surprise !

Weary (31/03/2010 10:58:53)
There is more than enough bloody “news on the rates” – BBC, for example – and we don’t need any more from the comrades in Salford. That’s how business works – you make a product, and if it’s any good and there’s demand for it, people buy it, you eventually make a profit, and you can pay staff and hopefully invest in growth. Simples.

roger jones (31/03/2010 13:30:09)
I would like to see Salford City Council contribute towards the cost of Salford Star. However there appears to be a mexican stand-off between the editor(s) and the Council leadership. This needs to be resolved.