redbridgelife

[picappgallerysingle id=”9380062″]Publication of Redbridge Life, the monthly council newspaper distributed free to houses in the borough, could be cut to once every three months under a plan to be announced by Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles (above).

Council-run newsletters, dubbed “town hall Pravdas” by some, have been criticised by owners of local newspapers for making their business harder. As well as meeting some appetite for local news, they are usually part-funded by advertising.

Thanks to a Freedom of Information request by L Barnett, it is known that 110,000 copies of Redbridge Life are printed each month, and that it has a readership of 250,000. In 2009/10 it was budgeted to cost £141,761, and up to last December, £17,810 of that had been offset by non-council adverts, including some from the NHS, TfL and universities and colleges. The council is aiming to save £4m from its budget this year, and had already been planning to cut the cost of Redbridge Life by £25,000.

Mr Pickles is reported by the Guardian to be about to believed to be about to announce a tightening of the rules. The paper reports:

Under the new rules, it is understood councils will only be allowed to publish free titles four times a year. They will also have to remove any content which appears to praise the council or endorse the quality of its local services, including quotes from local residents

• Following Wansteadium’s report about blue recycling boxes, and Redbridge’s non-acceptance of card and cardboard, the Wanstead Guardian reports that a trial is beginning in July in parts of Redbridge which might lead to card being accepted with paper.

• An instance of Chutzpah Car Crime in Colvin Gardens – not content with housebreaking while householders slept upstairs, thieves took the car keys of the family’s Toyota Verso and nicked that too.

Redbridge Life, May edition• Redbridge Council’s colourful but harmless freesheet Redbridge Life could be under threat – more than 100,000 copies are distributed each month and it could fall prey to budget cuts. The Ilford Recorder puts the cost of the publication at £100,000 – which seems low but must account for revenues from advertising. Council-run publications are one of the targets of the new government, especially where they amount to unfair competition to the local press.

• Fatboy in EastEnders is from Wanstead.