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SALFORD COUNCIL MAGAZINE CUT
 

Star date: 31st March 2011

LIFE IN SALFORD MONTHLY MAG TO END?

Salford Council's Life In Salford magazine which currently appears every month could soon be scaled back, after Parliament passed new guidelines limiting council produced publications to just four copies a year.

Salford Star has been one of Life's foremost critics, after disclosing that the freesheet swallows around £28,000 of public money per issue. Now, while the new Code of Practice is not legally binding, breaches will be referred to the District Auditor.

Full story here…


Yesterday, Parliament passed its new Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity which has guidelines stating that council run publications shouldn't appear more than four times a year.

The Code was passed by the House of Lords, after the House of Commons accepted it in an earlier vote (see here for full details). Local Government minister Baroness Hanham, introducing the Code to the Lords, said that while local authority publicity is important, "the freedom of the press is also important in providing information for the public to hold their local authority to account.

"It is equally important that readers of a newspaper can tell whether what they are reading is part of the independent press or a publication by the council setting out the council's message" she added, insisting that "unfair competition by taxpayer-funded local authority newspapers…can have a detrimental effect on commercial and local newspapers."

Last year, using figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Salford Star showed how Life was costing Salford Council almost £28,000 per month (see Mad Mag Costs here). We also showed that far from claims by Salford City Council that Life was saving taxpayers money, it was actually losing money despite being stuffed full of its own paid adverts (see Salford Council Mag Deficit here).

As Life magazine has continued to be subsidised by public money, the Salford Advertiser has stopped distributing to thousands of homes in Salford, and Salford Star itself cannot afford to get back into print.

Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, responsible for the Code, describes council publications as "town hall Pravdas", while a select committee report in 2010, to which the Salford Star gave evidence, concluded that council mags are "completely unregulated" and should not be "a vehicle for political propaganda"(see Council Mags Slammed By House of Commons Committee here).

The Salford Star asked Salford Concil if it would be complying with the new Code and scaling Life back to a quarterly publication…

"We are aware of he government's recommendation and will be looking at how this will affect our distribution of Life In Salford" Council Leader, John Merry replied "We have very specific reasons for distributing this monthly, as it helps us to keep people living in Salford up to date with our services and what's happening in their city. Reverting to a quarterly publication will increase the amount we have to spend on advertising, notices and other communication methods to keep the public informed."

While the new Code is not legally binding, breaches will be reported to the District Auditor. Expect to see the end of Life as we know it…

Mike Skeff wrote
at 17:13:41 on 14 April 2011
The end of, Life In Salford, mag? I wouldn't put the flags up just yet. As with many things in politics these are merely guidlines which Salford Council will do it's utmost to ignore. I think we might see more issues this year so Angel one, don't stock up on loo rolls. This Council will once again go against overwhelming public opinion, if only to remind the people of Salford that their Council is a law unto itself. Remember this when you vote in May.
 
c.gray wrote
at 07:50:03 on 14 April 2011
I agree with comments..Go for the truth..Go for Salford Star...But I am sure they will do there best to trash tthe star...as with all who disagree.
 
Fadge wrote
at 11:13:52 on 12 April 2011
The trash rag should be called LIFE IN HELL ,to truly reflect the reality of this hellhole city.
 
Mary Ferrer wrote
at 03:43:25 on 12 April 2011
I think The neighbourhood teams across the city do a news letter every 3 months. Why can't this news letter be used to get the message across to the people of Salford. I know the council wont be able to keep giving themselfs a slap on the pack, as they are doing now in their IN LIFE TRASH but it would save a lot of our money. Just a thought.
 
Angel One wrote
at 11:51:57 on 02 April 2011
I will really miss the Life in Salford rag .I will now have to buy toilet paper .
 
Ed wrote
at 00:57:59 on 02 April 2011
That's not good news, because that paper was made from nice thick quality paper and it fitted the bottom of my birds cage perfectly..... But the bird will be happy though, he was never happy about me filling the bottom of his cage with sh*t!!!!
 
Davey wrote
at 18:15:23 on 01 April 2011
Great news . An end to the trashy Jolly Salford Rag.We will no longer have our intelligence insulted by the council's garbage rag.Good riddance.THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS DUMP IS AVAILABLE IN THE SALFORD STAR .
 
Benjie wrote
at 15:57:41 on 01 April 2011
Great news , a bit less junk to recycle.Next month we can all end this crap council .
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 12:48:06 on 01 April 2011
Uos, Have you ever heard the phrase "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone". If I'm not mistaken, your university has a marketing department, yes? Which also flogs itself on its proximity to the city centre of manchester yes? and has a tag line of a "Greater Manchester University"? You are guilty yourself of mass marketing (as anyone reading a paper, going past a billboard or passing a bus will testify to) Of course Civic Pride?...Out of the window! Remember, one mans propaganda....another mans marketing!
 
UoS wrote
at 10:08:10 on 01 April 2011
This sort of propagandist tripe should really be axed. Who on earth do these councillors think they're kidding? The public can spot a pup from a mile off - everybody knows this is propagandist crap to prop up the Labour loons that make such a botch of the City. When will they realise that people can't stand them or the Labour party - they just keep voting them back in because they know the alternative is the Tories, who will always cut benefits.
 
Herman wrote
at 10:07:48 on 01 April 2011
Good news , an end to the trashy , brainwashing salford rag. Even 4 a year is too much trash .If only we could trash all local councils as easily , and bin them all.
 
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