Wiltshire

Wiltshire Council defends magazine's £160,000 cost

A copy of Your Wiltshire magazine
Image caption The council wants to publish legal notices in the magazine

Wiltshire Council has defended spending £160,000 per year on its newsletter, insisting it provides value for money.

The council says the quarterly magazine Your Wiltshire is published and distributed to every home in the county at a cost of 20p per copy.

Deputy leader John Thomson said it could save another £600,000 if it could print legal notices in the magazine.

It follows comments by publisher Eddie Shah that the magazine could be produced more cheaply as a newspaper.

Council 'propaganda'

Mr Shah, who lives near Wootton Bassett, added: "I think there is room for something that goes out to the community and tells it what the council is doing.

"I don't think they should carry propaganda saying all the lovely things the council is doing.

"There should be information in there - perhaps a forum with residents' letters in - and those should be answered properly," he added.

Mr Thomson said the council could save "hundreds of thousands" of pounds if it was allowed to post strategy messages in the magazine, which currently have to be placed in local newspapers for legal reasons.

"These are messages such as planning notices and applications, road closure notices, etc, that we have to publish.

"That's a huge cost. If we could move those into the magazine we could make tremendous savings and adding value to that magazine.

"This is the final magazine we will be publishing while we have discussions about whether we continue or not," he added.

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