New glossy magazine branded a waste of taxpayers’ money
A GLOSSY magazine which offers readers beauty, fashion and lifestyle tips has been blasted as a waste of taxpayers’ money.
A total of 55,000 copies of iN Hertfordshire have been distributed across the county at a cost of �22,000 to the public purse.
The periodical, which can be picked up at supermarkets, libraries, police stations and doctors’ surgeries, is the brainchild of Hertfordshire police, the county council and the NHS.
As well as tips about skincare and the latest high street styles, the magazine also features real-life stories, including the experiences of a woman whose partner was killed by a drink-driver.
However, its launch has been roundly condemned, including by some within the council.
Lib Dem group leader Chris White, a former member of Hertfordshire Police Authority, rapped: “These are times of austerity and we all have to count every penny.
“Why the police feel it is suitable to launch a glossy magazine that gives fashion advice is beyond me.
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“I suggest that the police get back to doing their real jobs – policing our streets.”
Paul Manning, former deputy chief constable of Hertfordshire, said: “Spending �22,000 on this during the current economic climate is not the best idea.”
Meanwhile, The TaxPayers’ Alliance, which campaigns for lower taxes, reacted with bewilderment.
Spokeswoman Fiona McEvoy fumed: “Few people have any interest in the magazines put out by their authorities but still they continue to bombard us under the banner of ‘community engagement’.
“It’s not the job of the police or the council to give out fashion and beauty tips and if savings are to be made these sorts of frills have to go.”
A police spokeswoman defended the magazine, which can also be read online at the county council’s website, saying it cost just 40p to design and print each copy.
She also said all stories were contributed free of charge.
Superintendent John Chapman added: “This publication is one of many positive measures aimed at making drinkers take better care of themselves.
“The cost of this publication pales into insignificance when compared to the costs of alcohol misuse.
“If this new way of getting the message out to people can help save even one person’s life, it’s worth every penny.”