NUJ PR & Communications branch
c/o NUJ HQ 72 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NB.
PR & Communications Branch Organiser: Fiona Swarbrick 0207 843 3729
Chair: John Millington
Vice Chair: Debbie Cavaldoro
Branch Secretary: Natasha Wright
Branch Treasurer: Carmel McHenry
Auditors: Charles Harkness & Barry White
Newsletter Editor: Vacant
Branch Web Managers: Mick Holder & Barry White
Branch Equality Officer: Shumon Ali-Rahman
Welfare Officer Natasha Wright
DM Convenor Anita Halpin
Sector NEC member: Sian Jones
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Venue NUJ HQ Headland House, 72 Acton Street, London, WC1 9 NB. The building is fully accessible. The nearest tube/station is King's Cross/St Pancras International.
Meetings 2019: 2nd Wednesday in the month 6.30pm. Next meetings Wednesday 12 June and 10 July (branch social gathering) NUJ HQ, Headland House, 72 Acton Street, Kings Cross, London WC1.
Waltham Forest Council Loses Legal Battle Over Its Newspaperby Alice Richardson, Local Democrac
The council has lost its legal battle and has been forced to stop publishing its illegal newsletter. The law does not allow councils to publish newsletters more than four times a year. But up until June 10 this year, Waltham Forest Council had been publishing its freesheet Waltham Forest News twice a month. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 ensures councils are properly held to account and the local newspaper industry is better supported.
An order issued by the Secretary of State in April last year instructed the authority to stop publishing its newsletter more than four times a year. The High Court upheld the decision in June after an appeal.
The council then launched a second appeal. Now, it has been announced the Court of Appeal has upheld the Government’s decision.
Despite spending the last two months issuing statements saying it would continue to fight the ruling, the authority published its last edition of Waltham Forest News on June 10 this year.
The council also began listing public notices in public newspapers after this date – something it has not done before.
The latest unsuccessful appeal has cost the authority £15,000, according to three Conservative councillors.
This is in addition to £27,000 of taxpayers’ money which was used to fight the Government order in the High Court.
A council spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that council taxpayers’ money will now have to be spent on publishing public notices in an alternative publication. We only produce Waltham Forest News because the government, by law, insist that councils pay to publish statutory notices in a printed newspaper.
“These rules mean local authorities currently pay an estimated £68 million in council taxpayers’ money to comply with these rules. Waltham Forest News was our way of complying that also helps us communicate with all our residents, particularly those who are hardest to reach or who don’t have regular internet access.
“These are often the people most in need of help from our services. We know that our residents appreciate a newspaper that champions both the people and the area giving every household a vital guide to what’s on and what’s great about Waltham Forest.”
The spokesperson added the council is looking into alternative options to best communicate with residents so it does not “lose out because of this ruling”.
Item uploaded: Wednesday, August 14 2019
Last modified: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Council vows to fight High Court and Government orders over illegal newsletter
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