COUNCIL LEADER Garry Hague announced that Thurrock Council has shelved plans to launch their own newspaper.
Speaking to the Performance and Improvement Committee, Cllr Hague conceded that “We cannot make a case for it.”
Chair of Labour Group, Cllr Carl Morris applauded the decision. He said: “This was a poorly drafted document with no costings, which is surprising because they had picked a name, discussed type-set and distribution.”
Councillors went on to discuss a series of alternatives to a newspaper.
Stanford Cllr Eddie Hardiman said: “We should be using the Thameside Complex as a media hub where a value for money service can be used.”
The newspaper was only one part of the strategy. The council still have the challenge of how they get their message out there.
Clearly, council leader Garry Hague’s mantra is “Value for Money” (VFM) The irony is that beyond Carl Morris’s “imaginative” cost figure of £600k, the paper could have been a viable proposition.
In our opinion, the preferred option would be a quarterly magazine that would have all the essential seasonal advice that residents would keep in a handy place around the house.
At the moment, there is a tendency for “Death by Leaflet.”
If the council are to re-vamp their website and embrace social media then that can also embrace the VFM mantra.
Kent Council employed Sir Bob Geldof’s company Ten Alps and an FOI by the Kent Messenger revealed start up costs of £1.2 million. Nice work.
A council in Minnesota, USA used a gap year student to create their site in wordpress and it cost £5k. It looks great.
Keep it simple, don’t be bamboozled by consultants, be guided by vision and with a determination to celebrate what is good about Thurrock.