East London Advertiser editor Malcolm Starbrook has gone back on the attack over East End Life, the controversial newspaper-style publication funded by Tower Hamlests council, after a budget report revealed it is costing nearly £400,000 more than predicted, HoldtheFrontPage reports today.
HTFP says Tower Hamlets claims East End Life only costs taxpayers £118,000 a year or 2.3p per issue, with the rest of the £1.56m a year cost met from advertising, but a report shown to councillors last week has revealed that the paper has suffered a £396,000 shortfall in advertising revenue due to the credit crunch.
Now, after the council agreed to keep supporting East End Life, Starbrook has repeated his call for the publication to be axed. He told HTFP: "In the past the council has stated that each copy costs every Tower Hamlets tax payer a mere 2p: we know that is wrong.
"Our figures show that at best the cost is 25p per reader and comes out of the council taxes of one of London's most under-privileged communities. The council has recently raised its distribution levels and now finds its ad budget is tumbling. The individual cost per copy is rising at the same time.
"When the town halls budgets are being squeezed in education, health and social services, the financial lifeline thrown to East End Life, which exists purely to promote a one-party political agenda, is appalling."