Mag­a­zine con­tin­ues to waste our taxes

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

I READ with in­ter­est the story in the Gazette re­gard­ing the Hilling­don Peo­ple mag­a­zine ( Coun­cil set to defy mag­a­zine warn­ing, Gazette, Oc­to­ber 15).

Prior to this year’s lo­cal elec­tions, we sub­mit­ted a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest to Hilling­don Coun­cil con­cern­ing the cost to lo­cal tax­pay­ers of the pub­li­ca­tion, and were ad­vised that, ex­clud­ing staff work­ing on the mag­a­zine as part of their wider func­tions (who are there­fore still be­ing paid by Hilling­don res­i­dents on top), it came to £92,517 in the fi­nan­cial year 2012/13.

This year it is likely to be con­sid­er­ably more, as spe­cial ward edi­tions were also printed and dis­trib­uted just be­fore the elec­tion ex­penses pe­riod kicked in.

So, what are we get­ting for our money?

In the July/Au­gust edi­tion, there were 20 men­tions of Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lors high­lighted in bold across the 35 pages, telling us what a good job they are do­ing, com­pared with just eight for com­mu­nity lead­ers and mem­bers of the pub­lic.

There were no men­tions for any of the op­po­si­tion coun­cil­lors, who rep­re­sent the re­main­der of the bor­ough, or up­date of the work they are do­ing in their wards.

It would ap­pear that the Sec­re­tary of State for Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Eric Pick­les MP, could have been think­ing of Hilling­don when he coined the term ‘Town Hall Pravda’.

In­ter­est­ing, too, that when the Con­ser­va­tives took con­trol of the

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