Havering Council fortnightly mag cut to quarterly

�Havering Council’s controversial fortnightly newspaper Living will be cut to four editions a year.

The change is a result of a government diktat, limiting local authority newspapers.

Cllr Michael White, leader of Havering Council, hailed the paper – which costs taxpayers �88,000 a year – a “tremendous success”.

He said: “It’s been well-received by residents and very popular with local businesses. In fact, the advertising revenue meant it virtually paid for itself.

“These are challenging times for all councils, so it’s vital that we keep people informed about the services we provide and the changes we face – whether that’s through a magazine, the Internet or local papers.”

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But Living only features Tory administration cabinet members, apparently turning legislation which bans the promotion of political parties to Conservative advantage.

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Opposition parties, including the Residents’ Association (RA), have expressed concerns over cost, frequency and political favouritism.

Cllr Clarence Barrett, RA leader, said: “It is noticeable stories in Living usually dwell on council successes and quote only Tory councillors.

“By doing so, the paper is perpetuating the impression that it is propaganda masquerading as journalism – taking on the role of a fully fledged newspaper while being subsidised by council tax payers.”

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