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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Tighter controls proposed on local council freesheets

  • Published: Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Proposals to limit the content and frequency of town hall newspapers have been unveiled. A consultation about this issue has also been launched. Read on to find out more and take part in the consultation.

Consultation on local councils' Publicity Code

The government is consulting on a new Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity. Local councils often produce free printed publications to keep people informed about local council news in their area.

Councils would need to comply with the revised 'Publicity Code' when circulating such publications. Under the proposed new code:

  • local council publications (or 'newspapers') could not be published more than four times a year
  • local council publications would be limited to covering content directly related to the council's services
  • new guidelines would be introduced to ensure that council publicity is lawful, cost-effective, objective, even-handed and appropriate
  • council publicity would need to have regard to equality and diversity
  • during periods of heightened sensitivity, council publicity would need to be issued with care

The proposed code would also prevent the use of lobbyists with the aim of influencing local people on political issues.

To take part in the consultation, follow the link below.

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