Greenwich Council is pressing ahead with spending £1.3m to keep its fortnightly free-sheet running despite pressure for a rethink.

Officers had planned to spend £873k distributing and £420k printing the fortnightly Greenwich Info magazine before Christmas, raising eyebrows of councillors on both sides of the town hall.

The move was called in by the Conservative opposition, with the new contracts then rejected by councillors on the scrutiny panel who admitted they themselves were not even receiving the magazine.

Councillors said that despite a growing need to communicate with residents, the Info was not the most cost-effective or efficient way, and sent the contracts back to the drawing board.

Opposition leader Matt Hartley has since tabled a motion for this month’s full council meeting calling for the contracts to be scrapped completely and pressing for an alternative method to be thought up. 

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Cllr Hartley said Info was a waste of taxpayers’ cash and could save £300k a year if it was abandoned.

However, Greenwich Council has now confirmed it is already going ahead with the new contracts,

Council leader Dan Thorpe said: “Following the call-in over the Christmas period, officers have been considering the issues and preparing the report.

“The report was signed on 16 January, so unfortunately Cllr Hartley has missed the boat.

“He is also fully aware that the constitution of the council is clear; this is an officer decision following on from the scrutiny process.”

The Info, according to the council, costs just a penny a household to produce and is delivered to every home in the borough.

The council says the magazine is “crucial” as it provides “vital information on a range of important services”.

Conservative councillors will still call for the Info to be binned later this month.

Cllr Hartley said: “Council leader Danny Thorpe has been given two opportunities to pause the signing of these £1.3 million contracts, so that the matter can be properly debated by councillors.

“On both occasions he instructed officers to proceed regardless.

“This is shocking behaviour – and reveals a council leader desperate to evade public scrutiny over his waste of more than £300,000 a year on a pointless magazine that isn’t even effective.”