THE growth of social media has helped persuade Swansea Council chiefs to cease publication of the authority’s free newspaper.

There were six editions a year of the Swansea Leader a few years ago, reducing to four and then two in 2018.

The Swansea Leader brought a round-up of good news stories, interviews, and information about things like recycling facilities.

In response to a written question about the Swansea Leader by opposition councillors, cabinet member for business transformation and performance Councillor Clive Lloyd said the final edition was last November.

“We decided to cease producing the Swansea Leader due to a number of factors,” he said.

“We have corporate advertising deals with the local media that make it more cost-effective to advertise externally.

“Also, the growth of social media and digital communications has reduced the need to print materials so we can avoid these costs without having to publish information in the Swansea Leader.

“This has reduced the amount of savings generated by the Swansea Leader in recent years and we anticipate that trend would have continued.”

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The print and delivery budget for the newspaper in 2014-15 was £77,000, with £14,265 income from advertising. Council chiefs estimate a net saving that year of £52,096 because the authority placed fewer advertisements of its own elsewhere.

But this net saving decreased annually to just £1,690 last year.

The UK Government has clamped down on local authority newspapers and newsletters in England with a code stipulating that they should not be published more than quarterly.

BBC Wales reported in 2012 that Welsh councils spent more than £1m publishing newspapers and newsletters each year.

Swansea councillor Peter Black, who was an AM in 2012, said at the time: “Councils are actually saving people money here, not wasting money.

“Councils have to publish a lot of statutory notices and are saving a fortune by putting those statutory notices into their own newspapers rather than having to pay to put them in the local paid-for newspaper.”

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