An attempt to curb self-promotion at the expense of the tax payer

As promised last year, Eric Pickles has introduced a new code of conduct to stop councils from wasting money on blatant self-promotion. Councils will be restricted to publishing newsletters four times a year and should not “use public funds for mounting publicity campaigns whose primary purpose it to persuade the public to hold as particular view on a question of policy.”

Local Government Association chair, Lady Eaton, was reported in an article in the Guardian as saying that “Newsletters delivered to people's homes have consistently proved to be the cheapest way for councils to directly communicate with residents and keep people informed about local services”.

Lady Eaton’s view that it is the cheapest way to communicate with residents might well be countered with a question asking how effective this method of information provision actually is. For in spite of the fact that Broadland News is delivered to local people on a quarterly basis and is consistently full of self- promotion and plans for what they will do to the local area a local resident said at the weekend “Surely it has all gone away hasn’t it? They won’t consider going ahead with all this building in the current economic situation and with so much local opposition.” she added “you only have to look in the local paper to see all the letters opposing the plans.”

Local people seem to be blissfully unaware of the recent Examination in Public of the GNDP’s Joint Core Strategy – so it seems that the council’s favoured method of information delivery isn’t actually working! Or was it the case the Broadland chose not to mention the EiP in last Broadland News? It appears that they did not consider it worth bringing to the attention of local residents. In fact here was no mention of the JCS or the proposed Rackheath Eco-town or even the infamous Exemplar project. No wonder people think it has gone away.

Meanwhile GNDP have spent about a quarter of a million pounds on their PR company and design consultants – how this can be justified beggars belief.


  1. I often read Broadland News and wonder if it even relates the the broadband I live in! It is so full of self congratulatory, aren't we wonderful pieces, it merely serves to reinforce my view that BDC are either extremely devious or just totally out of touch with reality! I keep myself well informed and thanks to SNUB the true picture is now reaching a wider audience. You are really blowing their cover!!!! Heaven forbid the public might actually be able to find out what is really going on! Bet they hate it......

  2. I think we are back to honest politics or lack of it.
    Someone needs to remind David Cameron why his Big Society is having a tough time. His minions do not subscribe to it.

  3. As one of the Councillors who started Broadland News all those years ago I have to say that it is not used now in the way we intended.

  4. Surely in these times of Financial hardship Broadland Disctrict Council should hand back the Gordon Brown bribe of £10.3 million as there are much more important uses for OUR money or have they forgotten the problems

  5. Yesterday the County Council gave the details of the huge cuts to be made. Surely Broadland District Council must now hand back the Labour gift of £10.3 million to help Norfolk residents

  6. Hey glad to see a Local Resident agrees but don't back on it, MONEY means everything to the Broadland Council and their Developer friends.
    Watch this space......