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Local Paper Statutory Notice Spending Faces Trim

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Aug 4th, 2014.

Up to £30,000 is likely to be saved from the placing of statutory notices if budgetary plans are approved tomorrow by the Council’s Executive Board.

Wrexham.com FOI’s (Freedom of Information Requests) have previously revealed the statutory notice spend since 2008 by Wrexham Council with the two local papers (Leader & Daily Post) totalled £495,375 with £469,343 of that with NWN (Publishers of the Leader), and £26,031 with Trinity Mirror (publishers of the Daily Post).

The savings are listed as Community Well Being & Development for £7000 as ‘Revising the way in which advertising and notices are placed in newspapers to ensure they are combined and reduce costs’, and a more general £23,000 saving under ‘Corporate & Central and Cross Cutting’ for ‘Reduction in Statutory Notices/Advertising’.

There is no detail to what make up of the £30,000 is likely to be Statutory Notice based, however released to Wrexham.com via FOI indicate that Council job advert spending with NWN and Trinity Mirror has dropped from £94,000 and £50,000 respectively in 2008-09 to £2,700 and £0 (zero) in 2012-13.

Our first report in 2013 can be found here, and our more recent on from April this year is here.

The figures given to Wrexham.com via the FOI requests for statutory notice spend are:

2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013- March 2014
NWN £70,735.88 £74,811.83 £56,866.13 £113,869.16 £85,641.39 £67,419.42
Trinity Mirror £1,555.20 £900.18 £2,119.37 £3,293.21 £8,413.55 £9,750.00

The above datasets begin in 2008, sadly we did not exist in 2008 so have had to dig to find circulation figures. This Press Gazette article quotes the Wrexham Evening Leader as having a circulation of 21,159 in 2008 down from 5.8% ‘year on year’, which we assume refers to 2007.

The figures at the last ABC certificate issue stated the Wrexham edition of the Leader was now in 2014 at a circulation of 8,581 , a  drop of 59.4% from the 2008 figure.

As we have mentioned before, with the drop in circulations there is a concern that the public of Wrexham may miss relevant information as information consumption rapidly changes. We are told by the Council that ‘placing public notices in local newspapers is a legal requirement’, thus the name statutory notice.

Wrexham Council told us in April: “The Council has put in significant work in recent months to lower costs, such as reducing white space. Newspaper notices are one part of the legislation, site notices are also placed in accordance with legislation and support in ensuring the public receive relevant information.”

(Bizarrely most other items on tomorrow’s agenda have made it into the local press, just not this one…)

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