Posted by: John Brace | 29th November 2017

Wirral Council awards new £750,000 contract for Wirral View newspaper

Wirral Council awards new £750,000 contract for Wirral View newspaper

                                           

Cllr Matthew Patrick (right) Cabinet Member for Localism and Engagement (11th February 2016)

Cllr Matthew Patrick (right) Cabinet Member for Localism and Engagement (11th February 2016)

Wirral Council have awarded a 3 year £750,000 contract for its controversial Wirral View newspaper. The contract also has an extension option that can be exercised to extend it for a further two years.

Printing of the Wirral View newspaper has been awarded to Trinity Mirror Printing (which is a trading name of Trinity Mirror Digital Media Limited). Trinity Mirror Digital Media Limited’s “ultimate parent company, immediate parent undertaking and controlling entity” is Trinity Mirror PLC. Trinity Mirror PLC own one of the local newspapers called the Liverpool Echo.

Distribution of the Wirral View newspaper has been awarded to Smart Distribution Solutions Limited based in Heswall.

The contract for sales for the Wirral View newspaper has been awarded to Lets GoPublishing Ltd.

The new contract starts on the 1st December 2017.

Despite government guidance (see paragraph 28) called the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Publicity stating “Where local authorities do commission or publish newsletters, newssheets or similar communications, they should not issue them more frequently than quarterly” Wirral View (apart from during election periods) has been published on a monthly basis starting in October 2016.

Section 4(1) of the Local Government Act 1986 requires Wirral Council to “have regard to the provisions of any such code in coming to any decision on publicity”. Wirral Council claims that it has received legal advice advising it can ignore the Code and publish monthly. Wirral Council received information requests for the legal advice. Those information requests were refused and the reasons for the refusal are outlined in decision notices FS50651166, FS50646730 and FS50646655.

Since the start of Wirral Council publishing Wirral View on a monthly basis, one of the two local free newspapers called Wirral News has ceased publishing.

The government minister does have powers in s.4A and s.4B to force Wirral Council to comply with the frequency requirements in the Code, but has so far (to my knowledge) failed to use these powers with respect to Wirral Council’s publication of Wirral View.

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Responses

  1. Farewell then Wirral Globe.
    You won’t be missed.
    Your readers reported a crime to you.
    And you deleted it.
    And now you are the one being deleted.

    Lol xx

    Alleged #Racism

    • Thanks for your comment Paul.

      I forgot to mention that the contract for Wirral View is described in these terms, “Wirral Council is seeking to appoint a partner (or partners) to help deliver a new approach to its communications approach with residents and businesses. Recent market research by the Council indicated a majority of Wirral residents do not feel well informed about the services available to them. In response to this the organisation has developed a new communications strategy which includes within it the production of a printed publication which would be distributed door-to-door to every household and business in Wirral.”

      There have been a dozen issues so far and to my knowledge none have been delivered to where I live in Bidston.

      There are cheaper ways to inform people about the services Wirral Council offers that cost less than £750,000 on a newspaper.

  2. This revelation as much as any probably explains why events that took place recently in Italy have gone unreported by the media people who’s clearly defined role is to bring about news to the Wirral public. Makes you think doesn’t it!
    Isn’t it tragic that money, contracts, cozy agreements and chummy relationships directly result in positions being compromised and people losing sight of what their role is in society.
    The Council ideology is to allow Common Purpose to flourish and spread the wealth amongst a few, and the media, driven by profit, now follow the money and helps to promote the game by pleasing the Council by not lifting up stones and shining light on truth.
    And they call us all mendacious oddities who are troublesome and cause upset from our keyboards with our protests and a narrative that can get you blocked on social media outlets. These are desperate times in our society. Slowly but surely we slip and slide to an unpleasant place where the establishment own and control all our news, and it seems nobody can halt this huge shift toward a totalitarian state controlled social engineering programme that gets a person to do exactly as they’re told and think how they are programmed to process a thought.
    Makes you wanna weep!

    • Well that’s part of the reason behind the Code, to restrict these sorts of publicity activities by local councils to quarterly.

      As to the events in Italy you refer to. I think it did get mentioned by both Wirral Leaks and Private Eye.

      I think your other point is that if a media organisation (such as a newspaper) enters into a financial relationship with a body they report on (such as a local council) then this can either compromise their objectivity (or be perceived to compromise their objectivity) to report independently on that body’s activities.

  3. Bobb47 totally agree with you, and my feeling is the council is just “P@@@ing” our money down the drain. I have never received a copy in Upton and what I picked up at an AGE concerns offices there is a news stand and at the end of the month 70% are binned. As far as advertising revenue is concerned is negligible and basically its just a labour propaganda rag. The vein on my forehead is throbbing so I will stop now. Thanks bobby and Mr Brace.

  4. In the age of cut backs its nice to know Wirral Council still has money to throw around, and yet we see road bollards missing from road junctions for years on end and they say they don’t have the money to replace them,
    Who do we write to in the Government to inform them of this newpaper?

    • The current DCLG (Department of Communities and Local Government) Minister is the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP who can be contacted by email at sajid.javid@communities.gsi.gov.uk, by phone 0303 444 0000, by mail 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF or on Twitter at this Twitter account.


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