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SALFORD COUNCIL MAG DEFICIT
 

Star date: 17th June 2010
A Salford Star Exclusive

SALFORD COUNCIL MAG BEGINS TO LOSE MONEY

"Now I would have thought that people would welcome the fact that we're saving the taxpayer money here…" John Merry, Leader Salford City Council

Despite assertions from Salford Council Leader, John Merry, that the Council's Life in Salford rag would `save local taxpayers money', we can reveal that the publication is now actually beginning to lose money – despite being subsidised by taxpayers, despite being stuffed with in-house advertising and despite having `no staff costs'…

Full details here…


ON A LIFE SUPPORT MACHINE

Latest financial figures obtained under Freedom of Information reveal that this year Salford City Council's Life in Salford magazine is losing money.

Council figures show that for the three issues of Life, from January to March 2010, print and delivery costs have risen, while external advertising has fallen, leaving the magazine in a loss making position.

Disclosed expenditure for the three issues of Life show print and delivery costs at £44,355. External income from advertising in the magazine was just £4,150. However the Council stuffs the magazine with its own adverts which it classes as income, and this amounted to £20,505. There is also a direct Council subsidy of £4,583 per issue, which adds up to another £13,749 `income'.

However, even taking the Council's income and expenditure figures into account, the magazine has begun to make a loss. The expenditure is £44,355 and `income' is £38,394, making a loss of £5961, or almost £6000.

The Council says that there are `no direct staff costs' for Life magazine, but the Salford Star revealed last year that an internal report to councillors showed staff costs at £1,870 per issue, which would add a further £5610 to the costs, making the deficit £11,571 for just three issues. Over a full year (12 issues) this would make the loss £46,284.

When Salford Star interviewed Salford Council Leader, John Merry, as Life was going monthly in 2008, he assured us that there would be a saving to the Salford taxpayers of £30,000 a year"Now I would have thought that people would welcome the fact that we're saving the taxpayer money here" he said,  adding that "at the end of the day if it doesn't work out and we're not getting the advertising in, and it is proving to be costly we'll cut the frequency again."

Meanwhile, the Salford Star's attempts to get funding from Salford Council's so-called `devolved budget' to community committees, rumbles on with the latest letter arriving from the Council saying that our non profit making, social enterprise, third sector community magazine had been refused funding from the Ordsall and Langworthy community committee because it is a `commercial venture'! (see here and here for other excuses).

The Salford Star has written to Salford Council asking for a formal appeal against the decisions but is still waiting for a reply…

* Update 1pm 17th June - we have now been informed that the appeal to Cabinet will take place next Tuesday 22nd June.

 

 

 

Nachtschlepper wrote
at 1:11:21 PM on Friday, June 18, 2010
Yet another example of the council's incompetence & arrogance. They seem to think that trying to treat us like mushrooms by keeping us in the dark & feeding us shit will in some way keep us quiet. I really am concerned about the capabuilities of this council. If anybody with a couple of brain cells to rub together had looked at the Life in Salford project they would have told the council to forget it. Though maybe it's more about the propaganda Councilor Merry & co want to get across.
 
Dogs wrote
at 12:43:54 AM on Friday, June 18, 2010
Salford stars for salford people. Salford councils for rich guys down south to give back handers to,for investment opertunities, There selling us down the irwell and don't care as long as they make enough to move down south. Good ridence to you but please leave us something of salford. Were not interested in your cheap silver and gold. Leave our Irwell alone. You coucil chiefs dont like our Irwell, SO DO ONE DOWN TO THE THAMES..
 
joe coffey wrote
at 3:41:21 PM on Thursday, June 17, 2010
the salford star should be funded like the life in salford mag is its got a lot more to it its a better read better articles and is a great magazine for the people of salford there should be a form on here for people to sign just to show how many people want to see the salford star published the salford atar is a proper magazine and shows the real life in salford lets hope you win the appeal and if not appeal again and again and again until they do decide to fund it take it easy joe coffey salford artist
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 3:40:56 PM on Thursday, June 17, 2010
Couldn't the star operate under a pheonix venture ? Im hazarding a guess but im sure if the team reorganised itself as a separate enterprise from the body unsuccessful in bids - the funding would come flooding in, you would just have to learn to reign in some of the vitriol towards those in council(funny though it is). Like previously mentioned i'm here if you need us, just drop me a line on the facebook page BTW, Project : Kreativ continues to go great guns, like yourselves, its unfunded, but i'm getting some great feedback.
 
Em 3 wrote
at 3:40:28 PM on Thursday, June 17, 2010
I agree with Big Al. The Star was excellent quality, gained awards and did exactly what a local paper should do - celebrate local talent and expose injustice. You only have to look at the recent Salford Media Scene (free) to see what could be done on a fraction of the Life in Salford boring council advertising rag. Kill Salford Life! Bring back Salford Star (its about REAL life)!
 
gotta laugh wrote
at 3:40:02 PM on Thursday, June 17, 2010
A bit like the Irish forger who printed £5 notes at a cost of £6-----When his mate asked how he made a profit he said "Easy-------------I fiddle the books!"
 
Big Al wrote
at 12:23:32 PM on Thursday, June 17, 2010
Bring back the Salford Star in print!
 
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