Search

Town Hall defend their newsletter in fierce battle with Eric Pickles

PUBLISHED: 10:28 02 May 2014 | UPDATED: 10:55 02 May 2014

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, defended the freesheet

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, defended the freesheet

Archant

The deadline for Town Hall to explain itself to the government over its ‘Hackney Today’ newsletter, dubbed “Labour propaganda” by rivals, has passed.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin looks on during his annual televised question-and-answer session in Moscow, RussiaRussia's President Vladimir Putin looks on during his annual televised question-and-answer session in Moscow, Russia

Hackney Today, who released another issue just this week, has come under fire from Tory cabinet minister Eric Pickles- who compared the Hackney council freesheet to propaganda in Soviet Russia.

Town Hall has responded to Pickles, the secretary of state for communities and local government, “explaining to him in the strongest possible terms why he should reconsider”.

Mayor Jules Pipe has defended the newsletter, which was found to be printing too frequently, saying it is a “legal requirement” and “cheaper than using ads in the local press.”

A council spokesperson said: “Hackney Council has sent a submission to the Secretary of State that outlines in detail the financial, legal, and community benefit case for retaining fortnightly production of Hackney Today, and explaining to him in the strongest possible terms why he should reconsider his position and withdraw the threat of government direction concerning Hackney Today. We await his response with interest.”

Mr Pickles issued the ultimatum two weeks ago, urging the council to defend the freesheet, or face legal action.

The Tory MP called the Labour-led council’s newsletter ‘Town Hall Pravdas’ and said “only Putin would be proud of a record like that” in reference to the apparent ‘gagging’ of local bloggers.

At a debate last week, Hackney Conservatives branded Hackney Today “Labour propaganda”, a claim Mayor Pipe strongly denies.

A Hackney Council spokesperson insisted that they conform to the public code for local authorities, and that the newsletter was the best way to communicate with the borough’s “diverse mix of residents.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Hackney Gazette