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Startup marks third anniversary with public notices contract win

An independent newspaper is celebrating winning a public notices contract after marking its third anniversary.

The Hastings Independent has announced it is set to run the majority of public notices from Hastings Borough Council, which previously appeared in the Johnston Press-owned Hastings Observer, after being invited to tender for the service in October.

The not-for-profit Independent, which is published fortnightly, was launched in February 2014 and is run entirely by volunteers.

The newspaper aims to promote local creativity, enthuse political debate, promote community issues and citizenship and offer free work experience and media training to members and volunteers.

Hastings Independent

Director Jon Dunham told HTTP: “Hastings Independent is very pleased to have been chosen to display Hastings Borough Council’s public notices.

“It is rare for an independent publication to be chosen as the preferred vehicle to run these notices and we believe it will further our constitution in offering quality community news across Hastings and St Leonards on Sea.”

Last month the Hexham Courant criticised Northumberland County Council for withdrawing advertising from it and placing public notices in the Northumberland Gazette, which is based 40 miles away.

The council said it had made the move in order to “minimise spend”, and that the measures satisfied legal requirements.

HTFP has asked Johnston Press for a comment.


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  • March 28, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Good luck to them I say

    The bigger publishers have become fat on the rates they’ve charged local councils for PNs and tenders it bark st them whine now the restrictions on where this type of formal notice can be advertised. Today’s commercial landscape is all about value, reach and effectiveness heralding the days when the local rag had no opposition so could charge whatever they liked often offsetting huge discounts in other parts of the papers ( property anyone?)
    As long as the area and numbers meet the requirement of the councils renot, more and more independent publishers will pick up this type of business advertising as the year progresses.

    Cue fat cat publishers claiming poverty and potential job losses now this rich and once taken for granted easy revenue stream has gone elsewhere.

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  • March 28, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Or maybe the local council didn’t like the regional publisher’s inquisitive questioning and decided to place its notices in a “safer”, less critical berth!

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  • March 29, 2017 at 11:06 am

    The big regionals have always charged far too much for public notices. It’s about time a less expensive alternative was introduced. Good luck to The Hastings Independent. As a not for profit company, it will benefit greatly from the Hastings Borough Council’s support. I run a similar C.I.C. newspaper in Cambridgeshire and understand how important this must be for them.

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  • March 29, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    oh dear not that old chestnut Paul Holden,
    seems to me whenever a publisher loses a tranche of revneue ,generally through complacency or monopolistic rate hiking in the past,the old excuse of inquisitiveness and safer havens comes out
    Maybe its because once taken for granted ad revenues suddenly being withdrawn leaves a big hole in the commercial boys forecasts?

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