Below is a section of the minutes from the AGMA Executive Board meeting of 30th January 2009, held at the Town Hall, Bury. (What’s ‘AGMA’?- see below.)
“The meeting received a presentation from Paul Horrocks and Mark Dobson of Manchester Evening News. Paul and Mark gave an overview of the media industry and the severe challenges that MEN media faced in the current economic climate. New ways of interacting with GM. Local Authorities and their communities had to be found and constructive commercial relationships were required.
“Paul and Mark offered/wished to meet and talk to individual Councils and Council Leaders.”
Translation: “We can’t give our paper away. No, seriously, we can’t. Advertisers are deserting us. How about we just reprint your press releases under our own by-line? And if you could see your way to upping your advertising spend, that’d be nice too.”
So, gentle reader, don’t go expecting any vigorous and rigorous exposes of Council waste or malfeasance anytime soon, eh…
(“The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities was formed after the abolition of the Greater Manchester County Council in 1986. The 1985 Local Government Act devolved power to local areas but also recognised that there were some functions that needed to be co-ordinated at a metropolitan level. AGMA was formed to undertake these functions.“ see www.agma.gov.uk)