LGA dismissed by MPs at media summit

The Local Government Association (LGA) presented evidence at the 'local media summit' held by culture secretary Andy Burnham at the Commons.

Edward Welsh: Commons showdown
Edward Welsh: Commons showdown

The summit saw council PROs and local news groups go head to head over the threat to local news posed by council publications.

The LGA aimed to show that council publications have not influenced the demise of local news by presenting research that four of five councils produce six or fewer magazines a year.

However, MPs said councils should not be using taxes to produce their own publications.

Despite the MPs’ response, LGA programme director, media and campaigns Edward Welsh remained bullish: ‘Once we had presented our research showing that most councils only publish once every two months, it was pretty impossible for those from the newspaper industry to argue that we compete with weekly, let alone evening, papers.’

Local councils are now bracing themselves for an Office of Fair Trading report into council publications which is understood to be imminent.

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