Conservatives Pledge To Cut Council 'Propaganda'

Local government spokeswoman condemns tax-payer funded media


A Misuse of Taxpayers' Money?

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Shadow Communities and Local Government spokeswoman Caroline Spelman has publicly condemned taxpayer funded media pledging that a Conservative government would tighten the Local Authority Publicity Code so that any council output was focused on services .

Changes to the Publicity Code paved the way for Councils to enter the media market with some producing weekly or monthly glossy publications whilst other created local TV subsidised by taxpayers money. According to Spelman, local authorities were now spending £430m on council publicity.

Should they win the election, Conservatives would demand councils publish online exactly what they're spending with a full breakdown of print costs, design and delivery, and editorial.

Local MP Andy Slaughter welcomed the move praising the party's pledge to force local authorities to come clean on their promotional publication expenses.

He said, "I fully support this position and have made the point in several Commons debates that local authority-funded newspapers which seek to replace the local media are both wasteful of public money and undermining of local democracy, whichever party is promoting them."


March 19, 2010