County Council pulls public notices from Northumberland paper
08 March 2017
A county council's decision to stop placing statutory notices in its local paper has been criticised as press censorship and putting local democracy at risk.
The decision by Northumberland County Council to stop placing notices in the Hexham Courant, the newspaper in its locality with the biggest circulation, has led to concern that communities across Tynedale are being kept in the dark over vital public information.
The Courant, owned by the CN Group, reported that no public notices had been placed in its paper since December 2016 and that, instead, the local authority is currently placing the notices in the Northumberland Gazette, a newspaper based 50 miles away. The decision has been defended by the council's chief executive as a policy that has been adopted on a trial basis and an attempt to cut costs and maximise administrative efficiencies.