New Publicity Code
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Awaiting Implementation
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To advise of the implications of the New Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity and recommend a decision regarding the future frequency of issues of Breckland Voice.
That given the unique circumstances and media landscape of the district, Breckland Council will continue to publish the resident’s magazine, Breckland Voice six times a year whilst having regard to the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity.
It was further agreed that Breckland Council would publically support the Broadband “Back the Bid” campaign launched jointly by Norfolk County Council and the Eastern Daily Press and a link would be added to the website accordingly.
Reasons for the decision:
The proposed changes to the Code requiring a reduction in the number of issues would cause a detrimental impact on the Council’s ability to communicate with its residents effectively at a time when engaging with residents was essential.
It would impact on the timely nature of the content of the editorial and could result in increased use of other methods used to communicate which might not be as effective and were far more expensive.
The geography, population distribution, demographics and media landscape were unique to Breckland and had informed the blend of external communications streams that the Council utilised to engage with its residents in a cost effective way.
A restriction on one of the Council’s most essential communication streams would dilute the effectiveness of its communications and would cost more to reach less people – one of the very issues which the revised Code required local authorities to consider.
Breckland Voice did not pose a threat to other media streams in the district in terms of editorial content, design and advertising revenue.
Breckland Council would continue to have regard to the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity.
Alternative options considered:
To reduce the number of issues of Breckland Voice to reflect the recommendations of the revised Code.
Continue to have regard to the Code but to continue to publish Voice six times a year given the considerations detailed within the report.
Report author: Robert Leigh
Publication date: 07/04/2011
Date of decision: 05/04/2011
Decided at meeting: 05/04/2011 - Cabinet
Effective from: 15/04/2011