The Communities Department has written to seven local authorities requesting that their publications comply with the publicity code which seeks to rein in aggressive council newspapers.

The letter, from Under Secretary of State Kris Hopkins, went to the London boroughs of Enfield, Hillingdon, and Lambeth, as well as Luton, Medway and Mid Devon and North Somerset councils.

Lambeth Council was delivering its newspaper, Lambeth Talk, every month, while Hillingdon Council was delivering Hillingdon People, and Enfield Council sending out Our Enfield, every two months. Medway Council was also sending out copies of Medway Matters every two months, while Luton, Mid Devon and North Somerset Councils all ran monthly publications, the letters stated.

Mr Hopkins reminded council leaders that the publicity code states that local authorities should not publish newssheets more than on a quarterly basis, and gave the authorities two weeks to inform the Communities Department what they plan to do.

The NS and local media industry has campaigned vigorously against taxpayer-funded council newspapers, websites and broadcast services which compete with independent local media for readers and advertising revenues.

For more of this story, see NS web site here