A council has hit out at a weekly newspaper claiming it had ‘refused’ to correct inaccuracies in a story until forced to do so by the Press Complaints Commission.
The Croydon Advertiser has now published a correction and apology over a housing story from February, which Croydon Council said was ‘littered with errors’.
The authority has claimed the paper initially refused to publish a correction over the article, about reductions in its housing adaptations budget for disabled residents.
It said as a ‘last resort’ it then contacted the Press Complaints Commission, which negotiated the publication in the Advertiser of the following apology and correction:
“In the article ‘Residents face a long wait for needed improvements’ (February 11) we suggested that Croydon Council planned to cut £500,000 from its adaptations budget for disabled residents living in council accommodation.
“The Advertiser would like to point out that, at the time of going to press, the plan was to reduce the budget by £50,000, not the figure stated in the article.
“The article also suggested that ‘extra money failed to materialise’, but Croydon Council would like to state that extra money was put into the adaptations budget.
“We also featured the case of local resident, Stuart Stone, stating that – despite contacting the council six months ago to arrange an occupational therapy assessment – he was still waiting for council staff to visit his house.
“Croydon Council would like to make clear that the first record they have of Mr Stone contacting them was in February 2011.
“The council would also like to stress that a £1.9m disabled facilities grant is available for tenants in privately rented accommodation. The Advertiser is happy to clarify these points and apologises for any inconvenience caused.”
A spokesman for Croydon Council said: “We attempted to get a proper correction by contacting the Advertiser directly but sadly were unable to.
“Recourse to the Press Complaints Commission was a last resort but one that has thankfully enabled us to get published acknowledgement that the original housing story about a sensitive subject was littered with errors.”
Editor Glenn Ebrey declined to comment.