Peter Golds: East End Life is awfully expensive
By Peter Golds
Politicians require the media to exist, while both fearing and loathing it in almost equal measures. The Wharf invites a local politician to write each week.
The editor does not decide what we write. He will continue to publish stories and editorials about which we can agree or disagree.
This is the fundamental of a free press.
Tower Hamlets Council is to continue publishing its vanity "newspaper" at a cost of £1.5million. There is a lot the council could do with that money.
Our council "newspaper" is surreal, restaurant reviews written by council staff, and lots and lots of stories on the many successes of the council.
In one recent edition, the executive mayor was included in seven different pictures and two whole pages were devoted to a flattering review of his actions.
This is not a paper with a letters page where residents can ask about failed services. There is no alternative voice. It is simply propaganda, paid for by taxpayers.
The Government has tightened the rules on local authority papers, but Tower Hamlets is bending the regulations to exclude its publication.
They conducted a residents' survey and received 624 responses. Just over half said East End Life should continue.
Next time you hear about "cuts" just remember that £1.5million.
That is an awful lot of very expensive pictures, supported by just over 300 of the 250,000 people who live here.
- Peter Golds is Conservative councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt Town