The leader of Greenwich Council has defended spending cash on a “pointless” magazine as the opposition calls for the decision to be brought back to the table.

Earlier this month the council signed off on new printing and distributing contracts for its magazine The Greenwich Info.

The fortnightly magazine, delivered to the majority of households in the borough, will cost the council £1.3m to print and distribute.

Opposition leader Matt Hartley blasted the move, accusing the council of wasting of taxpayers’ cash on a “pointless magazine.”

Cllr Hartley, along with Cllr Spencer Drury, has ‘called-in’ the decision – a rare Town Hall move to bring a decision back for further scrutiny.

The opposition leader said in the call in: “For years Greenwich Labour wasted around £0.6 million every year on their propaganda newspaper Greenwich Time.

“Its replacement Greenwich Info is an utterly pointless magazine and an outdated and ineffective means of communicating with residents – sharing all information with everyone regardless whether it is relevant to them or not.

READ MORE: Greenwich Council poised to agree new £1.3m Greenwich Info contracts

“It also continues to negatively impact genuine local media outlets.

“Earlier this year Greenwich Conservatives identified £305,000 a year that could be saved by scrapping Greenwich Info and reducing non-statutory advertising spend – while still communicating information when needed.

“Taxpayers are being taken for a ride – and Labour councillors should think again.”

In 2014, the council lost a legal battle over its then newspaper – the Greenwich Time – after it was found to be in breach of the Local Authority Publicity Code.

Greenwich Council hit the headlines again in 2016 when the Greenwich Time was closed following a crackdown on “town hall pravadas”.

Every year 25 editions of Greenwich Info are produced and the council’s aim is to deliver a copy to every household.

It’s estimated that distribution will cost £873,600 over four years, with printing set to rack up a £420k bill.


Council leader Dan Thorpe said the Greenwich Info was vital for informing residents, and cost effective at just over a penny a household for each issue.

He said: “The Greenwich Info follows the guidelines of our agreement with the Department for Communities and Local Government and provides vital information on a range of important services like schools, jobs and waste collection.

“The last issue had four pages of information about how the council helps people who are now having to claim Universal Credit.

“Cllr Hartley may think that is ‘utterly pointless’ but it is crucial for residents who have limited physical access and need our services the most.

“Last year Greenwich Info cost just over 1p per household per issue so it’s also extremely cost effective.”.

The contracts will be discussed at Woolwich Town Hall on December 18.