Memorandum from City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

 

We are aware that the CMS Committee is holding an inquiry into the future of local and regional media, which involves discussion about the role of local authority and other public sector publications.

 

It has been suggested in some quarters that council publications may be to blame for the problems facing local newspapers. We would like to make the point that as far as Bradford Council's residents' newsletter, Community Pride, is concerned this is certainly not the case. In no way is it in competition with, or a threat to, the Yorkshire Post, T&A, Keighley News and Ilkley Gazette.

 

As a former editor of Community Pride I have a good awareness of similar publications produced by other local authorities around the country and my view is that the vast majority of them are neither in competition with or a threat to their local newspapers.

 

Briefing note - Community Pride

 

Community Pride is Bradford Council's award-winning residents' newsletter, which is delivered to every household in the district (over 200,000).

 

Eight issues were produced in 2008 and nine are planned for 2009. Community Pride is also available in pdf format on the Council's website.

 

Community Pride supports the Council's commitment to communicating regularly with all the district's residents and fulfils a valuable public service by providing news and feature stories and useful information which:

 

o positively promote the priorities, activities and services of the Council and its partners and encourage take-up of services;

o build and maintain a high awareness and reputation for the Council amongst citizens of the district;

o keeps residents informed about how their Council Tax is being spent; and

o promote community cohesion and civic pride across the whole district.

 

Each eight-page issue of Community Pride costs less than 13p per copy to produce (including photography, design, print, distribution and staff costs).

 

Individual Council services/departments and partner organisations can and regularly do pay for pull-outs in Community Pride to promote their activities.

 

Community Pride is a high-quality publication with strong production values. It is approved by the Plain English Campaign for its jargon-free writing style, clear layout and design and its overall accessibility for as wide an audience as possible. It is available on request in Word, audio and Braille formats.

 

Community Pride was winner of Best Newspaper or Magazine at the Yorkshire & Lincolnshire CIPR PRide Awards 2007 and was joint winner (with the Council's staff newsletter, Pride @ Work) of Public Service Newsletter of the Year at the 2005 Charity & Public Service Publishing Awards.

 

Community Pride aims to supplement, not supplant, the local and regional daily and weekly newspapers operating in the district. It is not a threat to, or in competition with, them - for the following reasons:

 

o the comparative infrequency of Community Pride;

o the news and information in Community Pride is otherwise available to the media, although the style of delivery may be different;

o Community Pride does not carry any classified advertising from internal or external sources; and

o Community Pride does not carry Council recruitment advertising or public notices.

 

April 2009