Letter - Council newspaper is ‘valued’ by residents

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In response to Mr Mattock’s letter in last week’s Hemsworth Express I would like to reassure him that we work extremely hard every year to keep council tax as low as possible.

In 2013/14 Wakefield has the fifth lowest council tax of all 36 Metropolitan District Councils across the country – despite increasing it by 1% for council services and 0.4% for levies. In 2011/12 & 2012/13 we froze council tax – however this will ultimately end up costing us £6m per year in lost income.

Each edition of the council newspaper, The Citizen, costs just 12p per household. The Citizen is produced three times a year for more than 150,000 households in the district to give information about council services and how to access them. Feedback shows that people value their council newspaper.

We have a duty to tell people about the services we provide and, while we do use the council website and social media to do this, we also need to use other channels to make sure as many people as possible know what we do and who to contact.

The Citizen gets that information through letterboxes. I believe it is cost-effective and does not impact on the level of council tax, which makes up only a small proportion of the council’s income, with the rest coming through much-reduced government funding.

Coun Graham Stokes

Wakefield Council Cabinet Member for Corporate Performance