Fortnightly publication of town hall freesheet Hackney Today must cease by September, orders government

PUBLISHED: 15:01 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:12 17 April 2018

Hackney Town Hall, of Mare Street.

Hackney Town Hall, of Mare Street.


The government has yet again ordered Hackney Council to cut the frequency of its propaganda rag Hackney Today by September.

In November the council was told it would face court action if it did not cease fortnightly publication of the freesheet within two weeks. It was the fifth warning in the space of nearly four years.

After receiving representations from the council’s lawyers, communities secretary Sajid Javid has now given the council three months’ leeway following May’s election to reduce its publication to once every three months – as dictated by the Publicity Code.

Javid claims the freesheet, which the council claims is delivered to 108,000 homes every two weeks, competes for advertising revenue with papers like the Gazette.

But the council has argued that to publish the paper quarterly would cost them an extra £100,000 a year. It maintains Hackney Today is the most cost-effective way to communicate with people and comply with the legal requirement to publish statutory notices every two weeks. Most other councils instead publish these in local newspapers.

A response from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government delivered on Wednesday said the council had “yet to make a wholly convincing argument as regards value for money, particularly given the availability of effective and efficient non-newssheet methods of communication”.

“He [Mr Javid] is not stopping the authority from disseminating information to their residents,” it states.

“Councils are of course welcome and expected to make use of their other existing communication outlets (e.g. their websites) to publish such information. Every local authority across England is required to publish statutory notices and the vast majority do not use a fortnightly newsletter to do so.”

The long-running saga has seen the council ignore repeated requests to stop publishing its paper more than quarterly to comply with the Publicity Code.

In January 2017 the government gave the council until the end of the month to stop such frequent publishing. That warning followed others in March 2015, September 2014 and April 2014.

A spokesman for the council said: “We have received the direction and are considering our options.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

With the news Arsene Wenger is to leave Arsenal at the end of the season tributes have already been flooding in from the football world after what will soon be an end of an era.

39 minutes ago

Arsene Wenger has announced he is to leave Arsenal at the end of the season. The long-serving Gunners boss will surely be recognised for transforming the club and English football. He also used to be renowned for his bon mots and interesting quotes. Read our ten favourite ones here.

56 minutes ago

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has released as statement explaining the reasons why Arsene Wenger has left the club. Read on for more.

57 minutes ago

Assistant Ross Embleton is hopeful the E10 outfit can continue their good form on their own turf and sign off at home in style

A 24-year old man is recovering in hospital after being stabbed in Hoxton yesterday afternoon.


Police are appealing for information after a 41-year-old woman was knifed in a lift in a block on flats on the Hackney and Islington border.


Arsene Wenger is to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, which will end an association of more than two decades with the North London giants.


Arsenal, Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are among 14 London clubs taking part in Amnesty International UK’s second ‘Football Welcomes initiative this weekend’.


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Breaking News


Arsene Wenger is to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, which will end an association of more than two decades with the North London giants.

Read more

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists