Yesterday, two glossy magazines landed on my doormat, possibly delivered together. One was the Council's Town Crier magazine, the other was an independent advertising glossy called "darlington TODAY" (sic). I don't remember seeing this magazine before, though this is issue 21. Maybe that's because I live in Central ward and the target market appears to be people who might send their kids to private school.
What do I find in "darlington TODAY", in amongst the articles and adverts for private schools, private health clubs, interior designers and hotels: seven and a half pages of adverts for Labour-controlled Darlington Borough Council!
All the usual stuff about what a great job Street Scene is doing and about what fun it is to cycle in Darlington nowadays (as a cyclist and a Council Tax payer, I hadn't noticed either of these assertions to be true).
Is this what our Labour Council thinks is an appropriate use of tax payers' money? Seven and a half pages of adverts in a glossy magazine aimed at the affluent parts of the town?
We have our Labour MP and Council Leader both appearing elsewhere in the media over the past few days wringing their hands about the impact on local government of the Coalition's plans to cut the deficit, and yet they go and waste our money advertising in magazines like this! Since when did local councils decide that an appropriate use of Council Tax payers' money was to fund expensive PR and advertising campaigns telling me how wonderful they are?