Keeping Residents Informed
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Councillor Matthew Patrick introduced a report by the Senior Manager: Communications and Marketing, which proposed that the Council launch a publication, containing community and public service information, which would be distributed to every household and every business within the Borough on a monthly basis. The Cabinet considered the report and the obligations arising under the Recommended Code of practice for Local Authority Publicity appended to the report at Appendix 1. The report recognised that the frequency of the publication was not in accordance with the Code but the publication would be compliant in all other respects. The report set out the rationale and reasons for why departure from the Code in respect of frequency of publication was considered reasonable and justified.
The Cabinet was informed this proposal was a direct response to the findings of the Wirral Residents’ Survey in 2015 (included in Reference Material of the Report); one of the key findings of which was that Wirral residents did not feel well informed about services and information in their area. Councillor Patrick informed that six out of ten people had reported that they were not well informed about what the Council was doing and what it provided.
The publication would be funded through consolidating a proportion of the Council’s current advertising spend and accepting advertising which, combined, would allow the Council to significantly improve its ability to communicate with all residents whilst making cumulative savings on existing advertising costs. Councillor Patrick informed that his initiative meant the Council would be spending in a more intelligent way.
Therefore, the Cabinet noted that no ‘new’ expenditure would be incurred through the development of this community newsletter: it would be funded entirely through consolidating and making better use of existing, required spend.
Councillor Phil Davies informed that the aim of the initiative was to provide relevant information on the Council’s Services and on community events and activities which would significantly help residents feel more informed about services and information in their area. An additional opportunity also arose for additional income to be generated.
(1) the approach for developing a monthly publication, distributed to every household and business in the borough as set out in the report be approved;
(2) the projected financial savings associated with this project, outlined for the Cabinet in section four of the report be noted; and
(3) Officers be authorised to take all necessary steps, including requisite procurement exercises, in order to progress the proposal for a monthly publication as outlined in the report with a view to delivering the first edition in late autumn 2016.
Publication date: 30/06/2016
Date of decision: 27/06/2016
Decided at meeting: 27/06/2016 - Cabinet
Effective from: 08/07/2016