Boris Axes The Londoner Saving £2.9m To Spend On Green Initiatives
But can he convince local councils to follow suit with their own in-house publications?
The new Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced the closure of The Londoner newspaper saving London nearly three million pounds a percentage of which will be spent on planting 10,000 new street trees.
The move sees the Mayor delivering two of his election promises – making London greener and cutting City Hall’s publicity budget however, will his example be followed by our local Conservative led councils?
Figures compiled by The TaxPayers' Alliance recently revealed that amount spent by Hounslow Council on communications leapt by a staggering 3611.7 per cent in the past ten years making theirs the largest increase out of all the 450 local authorities in the country. Figures provided by LBH showed that their publicity spend rose from £32,241 in 1995-96 to £1,203,000 in 2005-06 (NB. this expenditure was made by the previous administration, the 2006-07 figures were not available.) Hounslow Council publish their own monthly in-house magazine HM which is distributed to residents throughout the borough and accounts for a sizeable chunk of publicity spend.
With a history of excessive spending on branding, image and publicity, it came as little surprise that the same report showed Ealing Council’s spend for 2005-06 came in at £2,979,000, an increase of 132 per cent over the decade. Ealing also publish their own monthly magazine called Around Ealing which is also distributed to households across the borough.
When asked if they had plans to following the Conservative Mayor's example, a spokesperson for Ealing Council said, "Ealing Council has no plans at all to scrap the Around Ealing magazine. The cost of Around Ealing for 12 editions is £60,000 a year - this equates at present to around 4p an edition per household. With advertising revenue we are moving towards this becoming self funding."
Hounslow was also asked to comment on whether the Mayor’s decision will affect their in house publication but we are yet to receive a response.
May 14, 2008