CIPR slams obligation to print traffic orders

A decision to continue to force Welsh councils to publish traffic orders in local newspapers has been slammed by the CIPR.

Traffic orders: Welsh councils must continue to use local press
Traffic orders: Welsh councils must continue to use local press

The Welsh Government has scrapped plans to end the obligation after a consultation found just 12 per cent of respondents supported any change.

However, the CIPR local public services group has hit back at the decision. Labelling the set-up 'archaic', it has written to the Government in protest.

In its letter, the body said the rules 'reflect a time in which newspaper readership was far wider than it is today and councils did not have other, more powerful, ways of communicating with the communities they serve'.

The decision comes as the Department for Transport considers similar proposals in England, with a response expected in the autumn.

Proposals to end the obligation in Wales were launched in December by transport minister Carl Sargeant.

However, they were met with opposition from Plaid Cymru, Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians, and were attacked by some as threatening the future of the country's press.

The Newspaper Society, one of those opposing the move, said the Welsh Government had acknowledged ending the obligation could disenfranchise certain groups.

Robert Webb, comms manager at Monmouthshire County Council and a member of the CIPR group, said: 'At a time when local authorities are asked to make public savings, it is perverse that this area remains sacrosanct.

'The money could be used on frontline services. Though the media have said they need the income, there are more honest ways of getting that subsidy.'

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