The debate about council-run newspapers, magazines and newsletters has been running for some time now.
I’ve heard from several sources in the past few days that things are soon to come to a head with the announcement this week of a consultation on changes to the local authority publicity code which governs how and what councils communicate.
It’s being reported consistently that the consultation will put forward a limit of four publications per year, along with restrictions on how information can be presented. The Guardian’s got a piece on this here.
Expect also proposals on restrictions for public sector lobbying contracts and possibly PR contracts too.
The devil, of course, will be in the detail about how any restrictions are drafted and put into place.
Communications will be key to keeping the public informed about services the local public sector provides and changes in these services in the coming years – for many councils newspapers and magazines form an important part of their communications mix – so communicators will need to build any possible forthcoming restrictions into their communications planning for next year.