Just in case anyone has read the final issue of Lambeth Council's answer to Pravda, the statement that "without Lambeth Life...local taxpayers will pay more" is not true.
Figures released by the council under the Freedom of Information Act show that Lambeth spent £549,513 on the paper. Income from external advertising was £209,604, and the estimated value of council statutory advertising was £81,180.
As only statutory advertising will be needed in future, that means local taxpayers will save £258,729 - very good news as it can go towards cushioning the impact of council spending reductions.
It also means more than £200,000 of commercial advertising can go towards supporting our excellent local media (such as this website and the South London Press) which - unlike Lambeth Life - freely and fairly report, and question where necessary, the council's work.
I quite liked it. I have never received any other sort of free local paper in the 4 years I have lived in SE1, and I couldn't tell you what the local papers (free or paid) are even called. This is in contrast to other areas of London I have lived in where I regularly received a free local paper. I use this website regularly but find it tends to focus on Southwark rather than Lambeth (I live in Bishops Ward and to be fair the bit of Lambeth in SE1 is small) - no criticism just fact as the postcode crosses two boroughs.
I did however get confused by the last issue and all the stuff about costs. It seemed to be labouring the point (excuse the pun).
I for one am disappointed that Lambeth Life has come to an end - it was a useful source of information on council activities and local news.
And yes it always gave the council's line but if you bore that in mind it was good for learning how the council is spending our money. Yes the information is all there on the Lambeth website but it was so much easier to have a quick browse of Lambeth Life than purposefully seeking out the information. And it was good for monitoring local planning applications too.
The argument over money is also not very strong - in the scheme of things £500,000 is not a great deal of Lambeth's money. The Council will still have to spend money on telling local residents what it is doing now it no longer has Lambeth Life so the cost saving is likely to be minimal.
And what local newspapers do we have to replace it? To be frank the South London Press isnt up to much. Although I regularly buy it unfortunately it doesnt cover the area very well and tends to focus on sensationalist stories, it also has to cover four or five boroughs so there are never enough Lambeth specific stories. The circulation is also I belive in the tens of thousands so cant be reaching the 200,000+ households in Lambeth.
I dont think that websites such as this are realsitically a replacement either - whilst they are excellent the number of people who read it make up a very small percentage of local residents nowhere near the 200,000+ ciculation of Lambeth Life.
(And I dont have any connection with LL or Lambeth council apart form being a concerned local resident and reader)
Oops - rather overstated circulation: doing a bit of googling Lambeth Life's circulation is actually 116,839. In contrast the South London Press sells around 17,000 copies of the Friday paper and 14,000 of the Tuesday paper.
Because South London Press readers choose to buy it, they read it. We were all forced to pay almost 20p a copy for Lambeth Life, and I wonder how much more it cost in stifling proper scrutiny of council spending?
I don't agree on the value of £500,000 in Lambeth today. It's enough, for example, to continue free bulky and garden waste collections (£300,000), save school crossing patrols (£150,000) and scrap the new charges for disabled parking bays (£40,000). Or there are many other cuts to social services such as care and sheltered housing, or public services such as street sweeping and public loos, which could be avoided.
And think how much we'll save on recycling now we don't have to pulp more than 3 million copies of Lambeth Life a year.
Thanks James. That's excellent - so (as well as having SE1 of course) we'll still have a newspaper but now it really will be free - both in expression and cost. Proof if any were needed that Lambeth Council's previous policy was squashing out local business providing this service. Looking forward to the first Lambeth Post arriving...
Can anybody tell me how they managed to get hold of a copy of Lambeth Life?
I haven't seen a copy of it in the last couple of years, and I think I would be exagerating if I said that I have only had six copies delivered to my home in its entire life. I do remember resenting the fact that the council was spending (wasting?) ratepayers' money on such blatant propoganda, or in common parlance "blowing its own trumpet".
HelenCarina should really look and she will find the SLP (not free but then why should it be) and though Lambeth's geographical size is much less than Southwark's it is, arguably, the most important part of SE1