At a council meeting where the future of the tabloid-sized Wirral Views newsletter was on the agenda, councillors voted in favour of a motion to stop producing the free publication.
The motion stated: "Council notes that Wirral View newspaper has, to date, cost £402,000 of taxpayers’ money but continues to fail to reach all parts of the Borough."
It added: "Council further notes that the Authority has, itself, chosen to advertise in the independent, free local media rather than its own publication. Council therefore asks Cabinet to end its support for this publication."
The motion, proposed by Conservative councillor Tony Cox, was carried by 31 votes in favour to 29 against at last month's council meeting.
The final decision now rests with council leader Pat Hackett, a Labour councillor, who is expected to decide on the monthly publication’s future by October.
Wirral View has been plagued with problems since it was first introduced. Last night Wirral Council decided to scrap the Wirral View. Wirral Independent Group welcome this decision. Hopefully the money saved can now be used to improve frontline services for ALL Wirral residents. pic.twitter.com/RElHbIsi9H— Wirral Independent Group (@GroupWirral) July 16, 2019
The council publication had been blamed for playing a part in the closure of the Wirral News, a local newspaper published by Trinity Mirror.
Jones reprimanded the council for ignoring government guidance on publicising its work – as council newsletter-type publications are not meant to be published more than quarterly to prevent unfair competition with local media.
Rules of engagement
Local authorities have a statutory obligation to pay careful attention to the Government’s Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity, and the Secretary of State has the power to direct a local authority to comply with the Code.
Kevin MacCallum, Wirral Council’s head of comms, said: "The situation with Wirral View is that councillors passed a motion calling on the cabinet to scrap the publication. The Leader of the Council will make a decision on its future in the next couple of months."
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