Nearly £14,000 of Council Taxpayer’s money in the past year has been spent by Hammersmith and Fulham Council on “fake news”. The scaremongering propaganda about Charing Cross Hospital was rebutted by the NHS for being “incorrect and misleading” – a highly unusual move. A complaint has been logged for a breach of the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity, “specifically around objectivity and even-handedness.”
An FOI request reveals the Council has spent the following pushing their “alternative facts”:
Costs of Charing Cross publicity since June 2016:
* Nov 2016 letter to all homes – £6,876.
* Letter to all residents via the April 2017 council tax mailing – £2,312.
* Posters – £422
* Promotional materials for November public meeting – £4,155
Total – £13,765
The figures don’t include the costs of staff team of the Council’s press officers.
The NHS says that “it is difficult to understand why the Council would choose to spend significant sums of public money fighting ‘closure plans’ that do not exist.” Indeed.