We listened over magazine, says Swaffham councillor

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A senior Swaffham councillor says district leaders have listened to voters by deciding to axe the authority’s in-house magazine.

More than £40,000 which had been allocated to the production and distribution of the Breckland Council publication, called Voice, will now be saved after members of the authority’s ruling cabinet voted to axe it this week.

Ian Sherwood, who is one of Swaffham’s representatives on the council and its executive member for communications, said the decision had been made “in accordance with public opinion”.

The meeting, which was held on Tuesday, was reminded of the results of a public consultation carried out on ways to find savings in 2012.

A report submitted to the meeting said: “Feedback was that the magazine was the service residents who responded were most prepared to cease in order to achieve savings for the council.”

An annual budget of £44,000, to cover the production and delivery of four editions per year, had been set aside for the publication, but will now be classed as a saving from its communications budget.

The magazine was suspended last May pending a review of the council’s communications channels.

Officials say that increasing numbers of residents are able and willing to engage with the authority through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.