Unfortunately this doesn't look as though it will bring about new investment in the Wandsworth Times.
David Parker ● 499d8 Comments
The takeover bid for Gannett has fallen through so the Wandsworth Times is 'safe' for now!
Tony Church ● 470d
Thanks for the information about the legislation on this issue. Casts the whole issue in a different light.
Labour have now belatedly responded, perhaps they read this thread!
David Parker ● 485d
Neither this site nor the Wandsworth Times nor the Labour party for that matter has mentioned the fact that the reduction in council rents is a requirement of the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. This isn't really a particularly arcane fact and something that a local newspaper reporter working a few decades ago would have known — the Dimbleby Group papers probably would have had a reporter specialising in local government matters.
So now the Council have managed to claim credit for something which is not of their doing with the opposition and the media not capable of providing the public with the full facts. Maybe Labour felt it was a zero sum game pointing this out as the credit would just go to central government. Though this site has gone beyond republishing a council press release and attempted to present a balanced picture the coverage is still deficient. This is forgivable given the lack of resources but not so with the Wandsworth Times which is in receipt of significant sums of money from local taxpayers and is part of a large global corporation.
Barry Elms ● 490d
In the report in this site's newsletter today there is a comment from the local Labour party so it isn't correct to say they are not interested in putting their view across to Wandsworth residents.
Carmel Cunningham ● 490d
Was pondering this matter over the weekend. When the Dimbleby's ran the local newspapers they would have regarded it as a dereliction of duty not to have sent a reporter to a significant council meeting. They were the paper of record and therefore it was an integral part of their function to do so.
Last week's council meeting which decided on the housing budget was something they would have covered in some depth. Fast forward to 2019 and the Wandsworth Times coverage seems to be limited to the Council's press release sent prior to the meeting and, while this site has made an attempt to get comment from across the political range, they have provided very little extra detail. This is not meant to be a criticism, PutneySW15.com has provided better coverage than their competition, a multi-national company which benefits from huge subsidies denied to them.
Nevertheless no local media is currently functioning as a paper of record. There is no independent report of what happened at this meeting in which decisions were made on how to spend tens of millions of pounds in the borough. The dysfunction of the press is being compounded by the dysfunction of the opposition. It is very noticeable that the local Labour party didn't respond to requests for comment on this meeting and generally don't seem interested in putting across their point of view.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Labour in Wandsworth is chronically inward looking and all that matters is debate within the party rather than issues that concern borough residents in general. This basically gives the Council a free pass. No detailed media analysis of what they do and no oversight by an effective opposition. On the face of it it appears that the Conservatives in Wandsworth have been bountiful when it comes to their housing policy but I find it very hard to believe this is the whole truth. A profound democratic deficit has developed which cannot but have very negative consequences in the future. A US-based vulture fund taking over our local newspaper is going to make this a lot worse not better.
David Parker ● 492d
The point I was making is that it is a bit of a stretch to call it a local paper. Newsquest haven't had anyone based in the borough for quite some time and the newspaper is written and produced elsewhere. I haven't seen a copy for a while but, unless it has improved drastically, it wasn't worth picking up.
Barry Elms ● 498d