Tower Hamlets newspaper East End Life, which has run for 23 years, published its final edition on Monday.
It was set up in 1993 to “promote services and help foster unity and community cohesion” following the election of a British National Party councillor on the Isle of Dogs.
Residents will no longer get vital information directly through their letter boxes about the borough after new guidance from the government. They will now receive a new magazine called ‘Our East End’ every 3 months with the first issue due out 13 June.
The newspaper may have survived the axe but due to opposition to ex-mayor Lutfur Rahman’s popularity and the involvement of Communities secretary Eric Pickles who took action against the weekly paper, it needed to be closed.
East End Life was popular among residents and served the public interest but councillors who opposed Lutfur Rahman were unhappy that it showed the good work he had done, so they wanted to remove funding for the paper.
Now, the only weekly newspaper Tower Hamlets will get is the East London Advertiser which is owned by publisher Archant. Such newspapers have campaigned against taxpayer-funded council papers for many years arguing that they damage independent commercial newspapers by competing unfairly for readers and advertisers
The government revised the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity in March 2011 which was first introduced in 1988. The council was criticised by ministers in the governments because it did not follow the revised code.