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Council cuts back on its local newspaper

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Lancashire County Council is reported to be saving nearly £300,000 by cutting back on council-funded local newspapers.

According to the Lancashire Telegraph, the new Conservative administration plans to save £292,166 a year by reducing Vision magazine to two editions a year from 10.

Tory leader Geoff Driver told the paper was honouring an election pledge: “We are doing what we said we would do.

“I just felt it was propaganda for the Labour Party. The people of Lancashire do not expect their council tax money to be spent on that.

“If I want to communicate with them as a Conservative politician they would expect me to communicate out of my own pockets or out of Conservative Party pockets.”

The Audit Commission is currently investigating the funding of council newspapers and their impact on other local media.

A review by the Office of Fair Trading had already noted “the adverse impact on local newspapers of the increasing role of local authorities in taking paid advertising to support local authority information sheets”.

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