A local authority has continued to defy the government over its publication of a fortnightly newsletter.
Hackney Council was one of three London boroughs warned in December by the Department for Communities and Local Government that it could face a court order to cease publication of its Hackney Today newspaper.
The authority was given 14 days to make further representations to the Secretary of State before potentially being ordered to comply with DCLG’s guidelines, which state such publications are supposed to be printed no more than quarterly.
HTFP reported last month how rival newspapers the Hackney Citizen and Hackney Gazette had united against what the former termed “unfair competition” from the council, claiming Hackney Today was taking away advertising revenues from the local press.
The council has declined to share the contents of its response to DCLG with the Citizen, saying this was subject to legal privilege.
However, an authority spokesman told the newspaper: “The council has responded to the DCLG within their 14 day deadline, reiterating our position that Hackney Today provides the best value for money solution for the council to regularly and effectively communicate with its diverse communities.
“We have once again stated that we will voluntarily reduce the frequency of publication of Hackney Today, when the government lifts the out-dated legal requirements to publish statutory notices in a printed fortnightly publication. We have not yet received any further correspondence from DCLG.”
A DCLG spokesman told HTFP: “We have received the letter and we are considering it at the moment.”