Conservatives Call Time on ‘Greenwich Time’

A new law has now come into force which is expected to stop tax-payer funded newspapers such as ‘Greenwich Time’, the weekly publication which the Labour Council have been distributing to households in Greenwich.


The Local Audit and Accountability Act received Royal Assent this week after being passed by both Houses of Parliament.  It gives the force of law to guidelines on Council publicity, which make clear that newspaper-type publications should not be produced more than four times a year, and should be more fair and objective.


Greenwich Conservatives have supported the move with Deputy Leader of the Opposition Cllr Nigel Fletcher using the Full Council meeting on Wednesday to ask Labour’s Deputy Leader Peter Brooks to confirm that the Council will comply with the law and stop producing ‘Greenwich Time’.  Despite being asked the question twice, Councillor Brooks failed to give the assurance, stating only “We’ll get back to you.”


Cllr Fletcher met with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government,Eric Pickles, and Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis this week to mark the passage of the Act.   Speaking after his meeting Nigel Fletcher said:


“I’m very pleased the Government has acted to ban propaganda-sheets like Greenwich Time.  It is clearly wrong that Labour in Greenwich are able to send residents this biased publication every week, paid for by the taxpayers of the Borough.  It also provides unfair competition to genuine local newspapers, which are such an important part of local accountability.  I hope the Council will now finally comply with the guidelines and stop this inappropriate waste of public money.”


Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles added:


“Greenwich Time is one of the worst examples of these Town Hall Pravdas, and the action we’re taking will ensure that local taxpayers will finally be rid of them.”


The new law also requires local Councils to allow local bloggers, journalists and members of the public to film and record Council meetings – a move which Greenwich Conservatives have also championed, but which Labour locally have repeatedly refused to allow.