Comment: Propaganda paid for by taxpayers

Read here the letter I had published in today’s South Wales Echo

Whilst Alun Michael MP writes to Viewpoints (Echo 30 June) in defence of the Rumney Recreation Ground, “City council must listen to the people and scrap its proposals”, Cardiff council are having to apologise in the July edition of their Capital Times newspaper for confusing citizens about the Recreation Ground.

On the bottom of page 6 of the council’s own newspaper it states “In a report on the reorganisation of schools in the east of the city we said that the Welsh Assembly Government had approved the council’s plans to establish a new school on part of the Rumney Recreation Ground…we have been asked to point out that the scheme will still require planning permission for its site. We are happy to clarify the position and apologise for any confusion.”

Is it any wonder then that the new Conservative Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, wants to stop what he calls “town hall Pravdas” passing themselves off as independent journalism. Mr. Pickles accurately warns that, “…our free press should not face state competition from propaganda on the rates dressed up as local reporting.”

Now that we have a Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government in Westminister it would be interesting to know whether our council leader Liberal-Democrat Rodney Berman, the Welsh Local Government Association’s spokesperson on Finance and Resources, agrees that it is time council tax payers in Cardiff stopped subsiding County Hall propaganda.

One thing is clear if you want the latest news on the fight to save the Rumney Recreation Ground you are better off buying the South Wales Echo. I will be putting the Capital Times straight into the recycling…

Keith Phillip Jones

Let us know on Cardiff East your opinion of the council’s Capital Times. Do you think it is value for money? Are you worried that apart from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor no elected Labour or Conservative councillor ever features?

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