In response to the letters ‘There was no further need for magazine’ by Coun Gambba-Jones and ‘How would he spend his allowance?’ by Joyce Boyer.
In the first case, I simply asked editor Jeremy Ransome if it was fair that local newspapers face competition for advertising revenue from tax-payer funded newsletters/periodicals. He replied that he was happy with the situation. I’m happy with his answer.
I would first re-ignite a war on litter for the benefit of all in South Holland
I asked the question because I believe that an independent local press is an essential part of our open democracy and it is a vital part of local accountability.
Also,our local press is a business employing local people. Furthermore, it regularly publishes all the relevant information concerning council/parish information and councillor’s activities.
Secondly, supporting my argument, the details of designated budgets and their allocations by local councillors have been widely reported in our local newspapers.
So, we need not solely rely on the Pinchbeck Chimes for that information, as Joyce Boyer appears to suggests. OK, without being patronising, allow me to concede that perhaps not everyone has the means or access to a local newspaper and that a parish/council newsletter is needed and has to be funded by taxpayers, like many other community publications, up and down this land. In that case, I personally believe such publications should be free of religious/ political influence and content. Why did I make a fuss in the first place about councillor’s involvement with the parish magazine? Well,the councillors said, in the final issue of the Chimes, that they used their designated budgets paying for the printing costs of the magazine. The magazine consists of 10 monthly issues. By my reckoning that is a hefty sum of money. The same councillors now say that they only paid for one issue. So who’s to blame for that confusion? Perhaps they’d care to tell us the actual printing costs so voters can make their own judgement about the costs in the name of accountability.
Finally, I’ll answer Joyce Boyer’s question: if I’m elected, ‘how would I spend spend my designated councillors budget’. I would first re-ignite a war on litter for the benefit of all in South Holland, not just Pinchbeck and Surfleet. I would then allocate the rest without fear or favour to local groups/schemes genuinely needing support. I’d never squander public money on self promotion publicity.