The cost of producing and distributing Eastleigh Borough Council’s ‘free’ newspaper “Borough News” has been revealed in response to a freedom of Information request. The 12 page newspaper is produced six times a year with 48,000 copies per edition, but only costs £30,000 to produce and distribute – much cheaper than the newspapers produced by most other local councils.
The cost is also further offset by £5000 worth of advertising. However Eastleigh council tax payers also have to contribute towards the quarterly County Council produced magazine ‘Hampshire Now’ which has been revealed to cost a further £350,000 a year.
Borough news is published in partnership with the Daily Echo – dubbed by some as ‘The Delhi Echo’ after parent group ‘Newsquest’ sent its pre-press production work to India in 2008 with the loss of 30 local jobs, in order to cut production costs.
Said one grateful reader:
“Since I became unemployed last May I have always looked forward to receiving my copy of Borough News. It’s filled with such positive stories about all the good things the Liberal Democrat Council are doing to support local democracy. After all, who wants to listen to allotment owners and ballroom dancers moaning all the time? Or those miserable hoteliers objecting to the council using their ability to source a low cost £32 million loan in order to build a hotel which will compete directly with them? “
“Sounds like sour grapes if you ask me.”
“I’m 90% sure I will be voting Lib Dem but before I make up my mind I’m going to wait until I read the next issue due out in May – just before the elections.”