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Journalists’ body welcomes action on town hall ‘pravdas’

CLELThe Chartered Institute of Journalists has welcomed the government’s decision to take action against town hall ‘pravdas’ which are flouting legal guidelines on publication frequency.

As reported on HTFP earlier this month Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has given several councils which print on a more than quarterly basis.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich, which publishes its Greenwich Time newsletter on a weekly basis, has been given until the end of March to cease printing at that frequency or face possible court action.

The authorities at Hackney, Newham and Waltham Forest, each of which prints a fortnightly title, have been given until the end of April to comply with the same order.

Cleland Thom, vice chair of the CIoJ’s professional practices board, pictured above left, said: “We are really pleased that the government is prosecuting the London Borough of Greenwich for flouting the law.

“Council newspapers like this harm local newspapers, causing closures and redundancies and damage local democracy.

“They are also a waste of council tax payers’ money at a time of huge cuts in local government spending.”


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  • March 17, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I am sick of this. Sort out the crappy local papers that don’t even attend council meetings and stop blaming councils. I am journo not a council PR, but I do understand their frustration at poor quality of council coverage and blatant lack of local knowledge.

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  • March 17, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Using public money for any kind of political propaganda (among other things) is deplorable, but beware of Pickles… There is a certain irony in this of all politicians referring to “Pravda’s”, when his own dictatorial behaviour in recent times has come to resemble to a sinister degree the excessive control exerted by Communist apparatchiks over the ordinary people. No minister in recent times has meddled so widely or with such aggressive and bullying intent as this control freak. If he could control his own calorie intake we might think better of him !
    I voted Tory last time, but now I just want to see them out of power, for all the devious and corrupt acts we have seen perpetrated in the name of good governance.
    I certainly don’t want Miliband in Number Ten, but this country would be better off with a hung Parliament than allowing the Tories further time to fill their bank accounts at the public expense… which is what Pickles and his corrupt cronies seem now to be starting to do.
    Take a look at the shady deal done recently to enforce construction of a huge waste incineration plant in rural Gloucestershire… against massive public opposition AND a unanimous Planning Committee refusal, but the Tory-dominated County Council signed a secret contract committing public funds to underwrite their “selected contractors'” costs in the event of a planning refusal. Thus emboldened, the contractors (including Tory Party donor Balfour Beatty) appealed to Pickles, who simply waved the whole monstrosity through. Stroud District Council are mounting a High Court challenge, but, with Pickles running the show, nobody expects a level playing field. The public have been lied to, deceived, bullied and coerced by every conceivable means to accept this dreadful Tory-inspired money-spinner (for Tory donors)… yet somehow at every turn they have managed to bend the rules just far enough to pull it off. This is not democracy… and we need a good journalist to start looking in the dark corners to highlight some of the grubby Tory practises which have led to this !
    Personally, I just want to see the Tories out of power, both locally and nationally, at the forthcoming election !

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