Well , we didn’t expect our Friday night badinage with Wirral Council’s Head of Communications Kev to have quite the impact it has. We just thought it was a bit of blogfodder whilst we researched a few other stories.
Little did we know it would lead to our first mainstream media headline http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14834014.Eyebrows_are_raised_over_council_media_chief_s_email_exchange_with_Wirral_Leaks_website/
As you can see we are described as a ‘caustic website’ by Wirral Globe and ‘barely literate’ by one commentator. But then if you dish it out – you should expect to get it back. However we’ve decided to take a leaf out of Wirral View and accentuate the positive, and thank the no doubt delightful Ms. Natasha Eubank who we think sums up our raison d’être :
“Whilst Wirral Leaks has always been a satirical blog, it has previously raised , and continues to raise some very serious concerns regarding the conduct of Wirral’s Council”
Indeed , as we’ve said before , we swear by that old adage : “If you want to tell people the truth, you’d better make them laugh or they’ll kill you” . . .
However we were distracted from following the Wirral Globe story when a glossy local magazine dropped through our letterbox. We thought at first it might be a priceless first edition of Wirral View . However it turned out to be a copy of Wirral Life – billed as Wirral’s No.1 free premium lifestyle magazine . Some of you might remember that the publishers of this magazine beat Wirral Council to the punch over the Wirral Life title .
We were so disappointed that we endeavoured to find out when we might receive a copy of Wirral View itself. We went on to discover, appropriately enough via a circuitous route, that the company who will be printing the newspaper, Cliffe Enterprise Partnership , appear to be based in Eastbourne.This might explain why the first print edition has been so slow to reach Wirral !.
Apparently there are very few printers who can produce such a snazzy publication so Wirral had to go all the way to the South -East of England. Although we have to say we find it a bit perplexing to discover that a cash-strapped North West council is supporting a business in the affluent and thriving South-East.
The print costs for the first edition of Wirral View are £8,100 with a further £9,000 for distribution costs. Distribution is to be provided by a company which is at least based up here. Well when we say up here – LDS Ltd are based in Liverpool !.
It’s hard to see where these arrangements fit with the pledges in the Wirral Plan and specifically Pledge 8 – ‘Greater Job opportunities in Wirral’ , Pledge 10 – ‘Increase Inward Investment’ and Pledge 11 – ‘Thriving Small Businesses’.
You’d have thought that , if anything , Wirral View would at least be a publication printed and distributed by Wirral companies. The fact that it’s not and Wirral Council are prepared to pay a premium for style over content further suggests to us that this newspaper is nothing more than a sophisticated and expensive PR tool and is not about ‘keeping people informed’.