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Campaign tackles Pickles press law

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Council lobbying groups have united to campaign against plans by Eric Pickles for an ‘anti-pravda law’ on council publicity.

The communities secretary announced in a speech last week that he planned to introduce legislation to ban the publication of council newsletters that resembled local newspapers. He also wants to limit other council newsletters to four per year.

But sector groups, including the LGA and the County Councils Network, have mounted a campaign against the plans, LGC understands.

They will argue that councils should have the freedom to campaign against changes such as hospital closures and high-speed rail - and should not be banned from doing so in local newsletters.

They are also set to argue that the law would be “draconian” and would place too much power in the hands of the secretary of state.

The government’s proposals are out to consultation until 6 May.

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