Councillors at Tower Hamlets have referred the decision to keep the council’s weekly East End Life paper back to the decision-making Cabinet, the East London Advertiser has reported.
At the Council’s overview and scrutiny meeting on Tuesday, seven out of eight committee members voted in favour of sending the decision to carry on with the weekly publication back to cabinet for an independent and impartial review.
Addressing the committee, the Conservatives’ David Snowdon branded the cabinet’s decision to keep East End Life on a weekly basis “unlawful” in light of new government guidelines, stipulating that council titles should go quarterly.
Cllr Snowdon said: “The council can’t just pick and choose which regulations to stick to and sweep others under the carpet.”
The East London Advertiser also reports that he told the meeting that the costs of producing East End Life, estimated at £1.5 million a year, were “flawed”. He suggested that savings that could be made on office rental, IT and HR by closing down the freesheet were not included in the report, along with competitive advertising quotes for putting council notices in other publications instead, such as the East London Advertiser.
Along with Labour councillors he went on to say that the council’s review into East End Life, led by its own communications chief Takki Sulaiman, was neither independent nor impartial.
But defending the report, Sulaiman said they felt East End Life was the best way of reaching residents in the “most cost-effective way”.
And addressing the committee Independent cabinet member Alibor Choudhury argued that the report had been “objective” and “impartial”. He said some editorial changes are being made and £200,000 is being cut from the freesheet’s budget.
Via the Newspaper Society