Haringey Liberal Democrats have written to the Minister for Local Government, asking him to review the council’s ‘Haringey People’ magazine. Government guidelines (the Code of Practice for Local Authority Publicity) state that councils may send out magazines to residents no more often than quarterly, but Haringey People goes out six times per year, at a cost of over £20,000 per issue.
The purpose of this provision is to facilitate the creation of an environment which is as conducive as possible to the flourishing of the independent local media. Other councils have previously been rebuked under the code, including neighbouring Enfield in 2014.
The council also sends out a weekly email, ‘Haringey People Extra’, to those on its mailing list, which is another possible breach of the code of conduct.
Liberal Democrats on Haringey Council have routinely called for the council’s bloated communications budget to be cut, in order to fund better services.
Councillor Luke Cawley-Harrison (LD-Crouch End), Leader of the Opposition on Haringey Council, said:
“Our borough is lucky that we still have a flourishing local press, which these guidelines are supposed to protect. However, it seems that Haringey’s Labour-run council is more concerned with promoting themselves at any cost - including using taxpayers’ money. The rules on sending out magazines are quite clear, yet Haringey has continued to flout them, spending hundreds of thousands of pounds in recent years beyond what is permissible. If they refuse to follow the code of conduct, ministers should step in to ensure they do.”
- Recommended code of practice for local authority publicity
- Code of practice on local authority publicity: letters to the London Borough of Enfield
- Lib Dem Budget Amendments 2016
- Lib Dem Budget Amendments 2018
- Lib Dem Budget Amendments 2019
- Lib Dem Budget Amendments 2020