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So How Does Life in Salford Compare?
 

COUNCIL MAGS – The ZZZZZZZZ Factor… 

We rated a cross section of council magazines and newspapers from across the north for councillors' egos, Pravda factor and how long they'll last 'til they hit the bin…


ROTHERHAM NEWS`the monthly newspaper of Rotherham Local Strategic Partnership' 16 pages

Councillor Ego Rating: 9
No less than six photos featuring councillors including leader, Roger Stone, who gets his face in twice, as do two other councillors.  Even their mums must be fed up of their mugs by now.

Pravda Factor: 5
In this issue they're trying to recruit an independent chair for their editorial board to give an "accurate and balanced perspective on issues"…first job, ditch the councillors!

Time 'til the recycle bin: 2 minutes
With snappy headlines like `Compact Earns National Award For Joint Working' it can't fail to have you asleep by page 2

 

LIFE IN SALFORD Salford City Council monthly 24 pages

Councillor Ego Rating: 0
Councillors kept well away – they wouldn't dare show their egos given the controversy that has surrounded Life's funding

Pravda Factor: 8
It's what's not in this magazine that says it all – a lovely feature on Buile Hill Park tells how the Grade 2 listed mansion which `stands proudly in the centre of the park and has panoramic views of Salford and Manchester' is about to undergo `a sympathetic restoration into a 4 star hotel'. What it doesn't say is that the mansion has been controversially flogged off to John Wilkinson, with controversial plans for the `restoration' and that unless Salfordians can afford to stay in the 4 star hotel they won't have access to the `panoramic views' etc etc…

Time 'til the recycle bin: 1 minute
Just plain dull. It's got a feature on `common sense top tips for getting your money in order' – perhaps the Council ought to read it and save £175,000 on producing this patronising garbage.
 


TOGETHER   Kirklees Council monthly 24 pages

Councillor Ego Rating: 8
A column by Council Leader, Robert Light, his photo and his autograph too! 

Pravda Factor: 1
No council propaganda, just photos of people blowing their nose and a giant medicine spoon in the fab NHS `Look after yourself in the winter' spread. Even the potentially exciting `It's all happening in Oakwell' piece descends into a telephone directory of who's funded a new sculpture.

Time til the recycle bin:  2 minutes
No chance of reaching the coffee table, especially with a delicious feature on food poisoning.


ABOUT LEEDS Leeds City Council `newspaper of the year. Again!' quarterly 16 pages

Councillor Ego Rating: 0
Elected heads are kept well away.

Pravda Factor: 8
Read this paper and you'll wanna move to Leeds, everything's so great - `state-of-the-art schools'…the `unbeatable' Morley Leisure centre…what you won't find are stories on stuff like the cuts in the number of care home places in Leeds for people suffering with dementia…Only dull, positive stories about the council here, littered with `Leeds. Live it Love it' banners. Did someone say `newspaper' of the year? Yep – the CiB British Association of Communicators in Business, northern region…bet they're a barrel of laughs too…

Time 'til the recycle bin: 2 minutes
16 pages? Seems like 160…yawn..


BOROUGH LIFE Wigan Council 16 pages quarterly

Councillor Ego Rating: 8
Photo, autograph and a half page column for council leader, Peter Smith to witter on about how `most young people are not the ogres they are often  made out to be'..

Pravda Factor: 0
Full marks for printing this letter…`Sir, I am writing this letter about Borough Life.  In my opinion this is a complete and utter waste of the taxpayers' money. I suggest the termination of this pointless drivel…'

Time 'til the recycle bin:  5 minutes
It's got a brandy trifle recipe by some Wigan born SKY tv presenter and a prize word search where you can win a Nigella Lawson book. Fascinating.  For five minutes.


THE WINNER

INSIDE HALTON Halton Council quarterly 16 pages

Councillor Ego Rating: 10
Begins with photo and column by council leader, Tony McDermott, and the elected suits just keep on comin'…The mag is stuffed with photos of councillors, quotes by councillors and references to councillors.  It's their own personal vanity kit.

Pravda Factor: 10
In his column, McDermott bigs up a £390 million new bridge across the Mersey which he admits has had `many concerns and objections'. A bit further on in the mag there's a big feature on the bridge, with a "unanimous show of support for the scheme" from, er "Halton councillors". Nowhere are the `concerns and objections' aired. 
A few pages previous there's a photo of happy residents holding flowers, helping the council to `celebrate the corporate assessment and joint area review'. Stalin would be proud.

Time 'til the recycle bin:  10 seconds
The time it takes for the rag to get through the mail box and wriggle to the recycle bin of its own accord.


 

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