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Local Press: Finance

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what timetable has been set for the Audit Commission's review of council funding for local newspapers. (284005)

Councils are not responsible for the funding of local newspapers. Councils may however take paid advertising to support local authority information sheets. As the Office of Fair Trading noted in its review, this practice may have an adverse impact on local newspapers.

In line with the recommendation in Chapter 5 of the Digital Britain Report, the Government have invited the Audit Commission to undertake a review of the impact of loss of advertising revenue on local newspapers. Their response is expected shortly.