SECRET plans to launch a Council Newspaper have been slammed by the Thurrock Labour Group.
The business plan was discussed behind closed doors at last weeks Thurrock Council Cabinet Meeting.
It is understood that the fortnightly paper could cost in excess of £100,000.
The leader of the council’s Labour group, John Kent, labelled the plan “a huge waste of public money” and claimed that if it went ahead, the Gazette and other local newspapers would face closure.
“Local people value their local newspapers because they’re independent and report what’s really going on in Thurrock; not just what Thurrock Council wants us to know,” he said.
Councillor Kent added: “There is a legitimate place in Thurrock for a Council publication, but not for a fortnightly propaganda sheet that threatens our existing newspapers.
“Thurrock’s newspapers could face closure, if Tory Councillors get their way, that’s why we’ll be campaigning hard to save them.”
Last week, the government ordered an inquiry into council-run newspapers by the local government watchdog, the Audit Commission.
But the move, which came as part of the government’s Digital Britain report, has not deterred Conservative-controlled Thurrock Council from going ahead with its plans.