Opinion: From our Readers - Animosity over Gov't publicity rules

Once again, ex-Audit Commission comms director David Walker (Opinion, 26 November) has let personal animosity blur his analysis. There are two serious issues with the previous Government's publicity rules.

First, independent local newspapers are an essential part in our democracy and weekly council freesheets pushed many local papers to the edge of the abyss from the unfair competition.

Second, there is less money to go around and the country knows why. Councils need to change their comms approach - glossy magazines that might publish Walker's articles are not the way. Openness is.

Government has to be doubly open about how it spends public money, which means town halls and Whitehall publishing what it spends online. Yet, Walker, a former public servant, seems to object to transparent government.

Perhaps he is recalling, with some embarrassment, the extravagance we discovered went on at the Audit Commission. Councils need to focus their time and money on transparency and better local services, not town hall Eravdas.

Bob Neill MP, Local Government Minister.

- Email letters (200 words maximum) to prweekletters@haymarket.com

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