Thursday, December 17, 2009

Local government advertising in the local press to become a thing of the past?

Could it be that you soon won't see the latest planning applications or local government notices in the Nairnshire? Will everyone have to rely on keeping their eyes fixed on a government website? A gurnite sends us a late-night link seen out there in cyber space:

'Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "Public bodies must provide the best value for money. Councils have collectively identified a need to cut spending on public notices which they are legally required to advertise and pay for, costing around £6 million a year.

"The changes we are consulting on will mean councils can use a new public information notice portal instead of advertising in local papers. The new portal will provide more cost-effective public information and a means to improve communication and dialogue with the public."

The portal will publish public information notices across Scotland on one website. Users will be able to click on a map of Scotland to see listings of public notices in any area.'

More on the STV website. Not much fun of course if you are one of the (is it 30% still?) minority that don't have internet access.


nairnbairn said...

This could deal a serious blow to small independent local papers like our much respected Nairnshire, which doubtless obtains a decent amount of revenue from the public notices and official Council announcements placed on its pages.

Denizens of the blogosphere tend to favour greater use of the internet. But we have already seen the downside of e-planning. And Gurnites know, and appreciate, the valuable role the "Nairnie" plays in our community.

This new proposal is 'out for consultation' until February 2010. I wonder if the government is assuming that timing this over the festive season will result in minimal reaction.

Perhaps this is a case where Gurnites should speak up in support of the traditional local press and submit comments opposing this proposal? Details of how to do so are at

Anonymous said...

Have placed a small post on the APT blog on this issue.

Spelding said...

Often the notices in local papers are the only way that people find out that there has been, for example, a planning application submitted which could possibly affect them. Do the powers that be think that everyone is going to be constantly watching the portal to see if any notices are going to come up about their area.

Although this suggestion in some ways makes economic sense by saving money, I think a lot of people whose work tools are dominated by electronic media, ie computers, emails and the internet have lost sight of the fact that there are still many people 'out there' who do not have, or want to have, access to the internet and that this proposal may not necessary achieve the improvement in communication with the public that they hope for.

growtosow said...

other way of trying too pull the wool over our eyes perhaps. i am thinking sandown as example and a few others that have got in over the years. good that the gurn has his ear too the ground also the other towns folk who keep a eye out for any thing we should know about. as it was quite rightly pointed out not ever one has internet access.