A Bolton Council publication has been condemned by the Liberal Democrats as an expensive "Labour back-slapping scheme" as it was revealed £163,682.85 had been spent on printing and delivery over the past 3 years.
A Freedom of Information request by Bolton Liberal Democrat Chair Kevin Walsh revealed that the 'Bolton Scene' newsletter, published by the Council and distributed to all households in the town, has seen just shy of £164,000 of tax payer cash spent on it over the past three years - yet has generated just £79,010 over the same period, resulting in a net loss of £85,672.85 from council coffers.
Mr Walsh said:
"This is yet another absolutely shocking waste of tax payer money by the Council. At a time when they are making massive cuts to services for children, families and the disabled - to find that they are spending over fifty thousand pounds a year on what is little more than pro-Labour propaganda is a disgrace.
"The Council's continued lack of clarity and accountability is of very real concern for residents across the town. With the recent questions being asked regarding the £300,000 Asons grant on top of the £90,000 pay off to the last chief executive and the attempts to hide the identity of the Labour Councillor who failed to pay their council tax, to find that even more money has been wasted on a newsletter that seeks to justify and 'celebrate' Labour's decision making, how can residents trust anything this Council does?
"It's time this expensive Labour back-slapping scheme was shelved and the cash given towards font-line service delivery instead"
1) The full FOI request can be found here https://www.whatdotheyknow.
2) The Bolton Scene is a free newsletter distributed to households across the town 4 times a year. Online downloads of all copies can be found at http://www.bolton.gov.uk/