Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Gibson welcomes PIN Decision

News release
Immediate release

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed Scottish Government decision to drop a proposal regarding the placing of council statutory notices in the local press.

If passed the proposal would have allowed local authorities to use online advertising as an alternative to publishing notices in newspapers.

This idea was put forward by COSLA to the Scottish Government as a way to help councils save money in the face of a harsh recession. The Government was duty bound to consult with affected bodies and did so with; Councils, the public, MSPs and the newspaper industry.

Following that process (which lasted 8 weeks) the Government decided against implementing the proposal.

Mr Gibson said that it was the right decision but challenged opposition members to help Councils deal with UK Government based cuts.

"I appreciate that the Government was duty bound to consult on this proposal. That is the nature of Government, however I am glad that they decided against implementing this idea, which was first mooted by government in 2006."

"I congratulate the SNP Government which has listened to the concerns raised regarding the proposal."

"The next UK government (of whichever colour) will impose swingeing cuts on the Scottish budget next year. This will result in a corresponding cut in the Council budgets. Therefore councils will need to cut their cloth accordingly."

"Therefore I appreciate why Labour, Lib Dem and other council leaders put forward this proposal on cutting the amount the advertise in the local press. However I think that the knock on effect for the local media would have been too much and counter productive."

"Those of those parties that actively campaigned against this proposal (often in the opposition of their council counter parts) are going to have to come up with some constructive ideas on how to save council's money."

He ended by saying that a strong local press was vital to the strength of local communities.


Public Information Notices (PIN) are announcements that local authorities are legally required to publish. There are two types of Public Information Notices. Statutory Notices give required notice of an intended action, such as road closures, construction, licensing and planning developments. Public Notices inform people of changes to services, such as refuse collection.

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