New Islington Council housing magazine is criticised
PUBLISHED: 18:11 15 November 2012
A housing magazine launched by Islington Council has been branded “a total waste of money”.
The quarterly YourHome went out to 30,000 council tenants and leaseholders for the first time last month and will cost £51,000 to publish per year.
It has replaced the publication put out by the now defunct Homes for Islington (HfI) and provides news and information, including that from the housing executive elected last month at a cost of £40,000 to tax payers – despite just a 10 per cent voting turn out.
Lib Dem leader Cllr Terry Stacy said: “The council can’t seem to stop splashing the cash when it comes to communications and sham consultations.
“This massive and growing spend on marketing flies in the face of Labour councillors promising to crack down on ‘pointless council propaganda’.
“This obsession with spin and new communications makes a mockery of Islington Labour councillors’ claims that the council is hard-up when times are so tough for many local residents. This is yet another example of Labour’s leaders making the wrong choices for Islington residents.”
He added that the council spent £60,000 producing its other magazine, Islington Life, and £107,000 on housing newsletters, websites and marketing.
Dr Brian Potter, chairman of Islington Leaseholders’ Association, said: “Most people I think don’t even bother to read it as you always see it dumped beside dustbins everywhere.
“It’s a total waste of money and we could do without it.
“I refuse to believe they need to publish it, because if a tenant or leaseholder needs to find out anything, someone is just at the end of the phone or a computer.
“It’s just a promotional programme just publicising the council.”
He added that any housing news should be incorporated into Islington Life.
Cllr Barbara Sidnell, executive member for tenants, residents and communities, said: “Compared to when the wasteful Lib Dems ran the council, we have slashed the money we spend on communications by almost £1million a year.
“Our housing came back under council control in April, so this magazine replaces the old Homes for Islington magazine – it isn’t new.”