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Lewisham Life - Soviet era propaganda or just and egregious waste of money?
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Post: #1
14-12-2011 10:15 PM

The latest issue of Comrades Bullock and Dowd's manifesto landed on the door mat not so long ago and by the time I got to the end I half expected the Council to have announced the grain harvest had exceeded plan for yet another year.

I seem to recall that in their "consultation" about budget cuts Lewisham said that that their preferred option for LL was to reduce the number of issues rather than get rid of it. As a result the annual cost of producing LL would reduce to 125,000. Looks like they selected their preferred option.

To my mind this money would be better by bringing a few empty properties back into use or by providing more facilities for the people whose circumstances are not so ecstatically happy as those featured in LL.

What do you think?

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Post: #2
14-12-2011 11:08 PM

The problem is still how to get through to people who need to access council services and facilities [/php] but dont know how. [php]The ideal would be to put everything online but a reasonable section of the population will not be able to access this.

I agree that its a lot of money and some cheaper alternative needs to be in place but I suspect thats the way it will go in the next few months anyway as Councils make even deeper cuts.

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Post: #3
15-12-2011 04:57 AM

Even the BBC managed to scrap its in House magazine, but not Lewisham Council. No, even in the age of austerity we are still churning out its unique blend of the banal local celeb interviews mixed with hot news on waste management....Surely no one reads much of it anyway so they could easily do a Ll leaflet with any really important info on it and get the bin men to deliver it. Or an online version instead and save the print run costs. Better still they could get some sponsorship perhaps and make it a) cheaper and b) better.

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Post: #4
15-12-2011 07:52 AM

Worth a look.

1/3 of households in the UK don't have access to the internet.

However, libraries, where there was free internet access, were near the top of the agenda to be closed by Lewisham.

With the cuts I too think Lewisham life is non essential. Essential council services could have been included in the assembly leaflets or piggybacked on the various local publications such as transmitter.

Recall on door dropped literature is quite low, just a few percent. So while Lewisham Life may go through the door, it may not be read. At the very lease I"d have reduced the content or made it B&W or stopped it for a while. They can always start it again when times are better. It is an ad for the council, but I can't choose if I have my services run by lewisham or not, so by it's nature it is political as I can only choose the political party running it (well, sort of, it's a safe seat so my vote without PR, unless it's a Labour, one will be worthless).

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Post: #5
15-12-2011 09:02 PM

It really is a most awful example of its type and should be sacrificed immediatly to keep a Library or two open for a few more weeks.
I hope everyone remembers to recycle it thou' to meet this years targets.....

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Post: #6
16-12-2011 10:40 AM

It is worth reading for information on changes to Council services. For example the most recent issue explains the changes to Lewisham's recycling contractor that now means that a lot more types of plastic and other things can be put in your recycling bin. Its important information that needs to be got to everyone, a lot of the rest of it might be filler but some of the things it does are necessary.

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Post: #7
16-12-2011 05:00 PM

Agreed with Satchers. I found out about the recycling changes via online sources but I know of others who only knew about this via Lewisham Life.

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Post: #8
17-12-2011 04:29 PM

If all you want it to do is push important Council info, then it should be a cheapo 2 page newsletter printed on recycled toilet roll. It doesn't need to be a magnum opus. I would very much doubt the cost of this is anything like as little as Lewisham claim. In my experience it is a full time job for several people to produce and organise and then everyone's wasted time writing stories about allotments.

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Post: #9
19-12-2011 10:24 AM

The other day I was clearing out the porch - I put LL and the News Shopper straight in the recycle bin. I did feel bad though.

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Post: #10
20-12-2011 03:47 PM

The print version of Lewisham Life has been reduced from monthly issues to quarterly, although they do an electronic version every month.

Local businesses pay to advertise in it and say that it is one of the best ways of publicising themselves locally; it gets delivered to every household in the Borough unlike Newshopper / SLP / SE23 magazine. If there was a private alternative, then I would support cutting it, but we don't get any of the others dropped through our door, so it's the only local info we get.

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Post: #11
21-12-2011 09:53 PM

We could ask Steve bullock to stand outside forest hill station for 10 minutes every Saturday and tell us all the local news. No doubt that would cost less than LL.

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