Yesterday’s news: Hackney Today binned for good as judge throws out council appeal

Copies of Hackney Today at Hackney town hall. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Copies of Hackney Today at Hackney town hall. Picture: Emma Bartholomew - Credit: Archant

The council has been permanently banned from publishing its fortnightly freesheet Hackney Today for good after a judge threw out its appeal.

The town hall had appealed a High Court ruling but it was today rejected by the Court of Appeal.

It is now figuring out if there are any other ways it can get its information out to people who live in the borough.Hackney mayor Phil Glanville said the decision was "extremely disappointing".

He said: "As well as saving the council tens of thousands of pounds by not having to pay to advertise statutory notices in the local press, it was by far one of our most effective and popular ways to communicate with our diverse communities."

Hackney Today cost the town hall north of £300,000 a year to produce and distribute, though some of that cost was absorbed by paid advertising.

The mayor also claimed there was "nothing else out there" that gave so much space to "celebrating the diversity at the heart of Hackney".

The government had repeatedly ordered the council to stop publishing Hackney Today over the last few years.

Mr Glanville added that the money saved by not having to pay statutory notices in the local press had outweighed the £33,000-plus legal costs used to fight the government through a judicial review and the subsequent appeal.

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He added: "We now face a situation where tens of thousands of pounds will have to be diverted away from services and towards paying for notices in a local newspaper where they will be seen by far fewer people, and a heightened risk of people who may benefit from council services and opportunities no longer finding out about them."

Fortunately for fans of the freesheet, Hackney Today lives on among the contents of a time capsule buried beneath the town hall in 2017 to mark the building's 80th birthday.

A cutting from the Gazette was ditched at the last minute due to "lack of space".