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Tower Hamlets Councillor Criticises Met Police Advertising in East End Life

A Tower Hamlets councillor has accused the Metropolitan Police of “giving credibility to something which Parliament has ruled should be closed down” by placing advertising in council publication East End Life.

Councillor Peter Golds, leader of the Conservative Group at Tower Hamlets, has written to Eric Pickles asking why East End Life continues to defy Government guidelines designed to ban aggressive council publications.

Councillor Peter Golds said in his letter to the Communities Secretary that one of the publication’s methods was to “squeeze the life out of the free press”.

The letter, dated 5 September, read: “The independent local media exists by way of advertisements. The council simply do not place adverts in the East London Advertiser, our long standing local paper. Far more disturbingly is that the Metropolitan Police now concentrate all their local advertising on East End Life.  This gives further credence to the “independence” of East End Life."

Councillor Golds’ letter said that the Met had last placed advert in the East London Advertiser in April 2010 and attached details of correspondence between the Advertiser and the Met.

He continued: “This continues despite Parliament having passed guidelines to limit propaganda sheets being published by a local authority. Tower Hamlets is perhaps the most controversial local authority in London and the Met, by concentrating its advertising resources on East End Life, is giving credibility to something which Parliament has ruled should be closed down.”

“I would appreciate your observations on this.”

The letter was copied to Stephen Greenhalgh, deputy mayor for policing and the former leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, the borough which closed down its fortnightly council newspaper H&F News when the Local Authority Publicity Code came into force last year.

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