Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Propaganda on the rates - LCC Tories produce 12 page newpaper in run up to elections

I am surprised that Conservative run Lancashire County Council has decided to use taxpayer's money to print a 12 page fill colour newspaper to be delivered just before the local elections to promote their policies.

I have requested freedom of information as to the costs including quantities and delivery.

This sort of self promotion is simply propaganda. The timing is awful, just weeks from postal votes landing and having not produced a newspaper for a good while it smacks of hypocrisy and a little desperation.

A blatant example of what Eric Pickles – a Conservative bedfellow of Conservative Lancashire County Council – referred to as "self-aggrandizement, self-publicity, going on their particular message. It's not public service, it's propaganda."

The latest edition of 'Vision' features a headline boast about the job market in Lancashire. If these propaganda papers can be justified at all, then they should be at most, an outline of policies that that the Council is doing, not an unconditional self-assessment designed to win political votes.

The Government has signalled that it wanted to pass a law that would prevent Local Authorities from spending taxpayer's money on propaganda, and they have made it quite clear that it is not an appropriate way to spend tax payers money. The Tory-led governments view is clearly at odds with local Conservatives.

I believe they have their place done informatively and offsetting costs with income from job advertisements. Not as a substitute, surrogate or addition to Tory election leaflets.

Weeks put and with banner headline on jobs, it just stinks.

The FOI requests LCC to provide information as to;

1) How many they have printed;
2) How much the printing cost;
3) How much the delivery cost;
4) How many locations it was delivered to; and
5) Which company printed it – I want to know if it was printed in Lancashire.

I will publish these numbers on here once I receive them from County Hall.