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


LowIncomeTaxpayer said:

At Last!


krueger said:

The problem is that a lot of people don't even receive East End Life although they pay for it! Therefore they wouldn't have know about the consultation to scrap it. I am involved in community issues but we can't even get some space on it and have to rely solely on private (proper) newspapers. It should have been scrapped long ago!!

LBTH Homeowner said:

I recycle my Eastend Life the second it is spammed through my letterbox and I'm sure I'm not alone. The ink comes off all over your hands and it's not got any content of substance. It's basically a load of self-servicing, pompous twaddle!

Ani said:

I'm certain I'm not the only person who recycles their copy of East End Life the second it's spammed through my letterbox. The ink comes off all over my hands and clothes when I try to read it, only to be disappointed by the lack of stories of any value. It's essentially a self-servicing, pompous piece of progaganda which should be scrapped as soon as possible.

Andrew B said:

Look into that survey please Peter. I was asked to answer the survey *by email* and LBTH only had my email address since I subscribe to some LBTH newsletters in order to be made aware when grants are available for my sports club to apply for. I'd wager most subscribers to those emails are in favour of increased government activity, though I am not. I would say the survey sample was biased in this manner.

I detest any progression towards a socialism, including increasing government activities crowding private sector alternatives out of the market. This is certainly what East End Life is doing when they absorb advertising revenue that private newspapers need to survive. The Wharf's competitor The Docklands has already had to scrap their sports section meaning we've lost a vital recruitment avenue.

Keep going this way and we'll end up with Pravda for the news; speech is only free when the media is entirely in private ownership.