weakens democracy" according to Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles. Announcing a crack down on the use by local authorities of tax payers money for lobbbying and propagandising Mr Pickles took another sideswipe at what he called "so called Town Hall newspapers", a leading example of which is our own Council's H&F News. He recently referred to the paper as "propaganda on the rates."
The weekly propaganda sheet costs hundreds of thousands of pounds and contains articles putting the Council in a positive light on even the most contentious issues. Thus the decision to withdraw funding from large sections of the voluntary sector, such as the Irish Centre in Hammersmith which was greeted with dismay by the Irish Embassy in London and Irish Centre itself, was presented with the headline "Irish Group in the money". Stalin would blush.
The failure of the Chronicle's campaign against the propaganda sheet seems to have guaranteed that we will continue to pay for Cllr Greenhalgh's propaganda arm for the time being, but just as Cllr Greenhalgh is undisputably the big political fish in West London - Eric Pickles seems ready to prove that he is much much bigger - and if he succeeds where the Chronicle failed, in stopping this use of our hard earned money to tell us how fab our Council is, then he will have done all of us a great service. Go, Pickles Go!