Notice: MHCLG has ordered Hackney Today to be cut back before September 2018.

Hackney Council is mooting a court battle with the government over the right to publish a taxpayer-funded newspaper.

The council was directed in April by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to cut back publication of Town Hall freesheet Hackney Today from roughly every two weeks to just four issues per year.

Waltham Forest council announced on Tuesday it will apply for a judicial review against the direction, which covers it’s own freesheet, Waltham Forest News.

When asked by the Hackney Citizen whether the Hackney Council will follow suit, a spokesperson said legal action was “one option” being considered, with a decision due at the 18 June meeting of the council’s cabinet.

The spokesperson said: “Hackney Council’s cabinet is due to meet on Monday 18 June 2018 to consider its position in respect of the recent direction issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

“One option that cabinet will consider is the possibility that Hackney Council could issue judicial proceedings against the Secretary of State in relation to the legality of the direction issued.”

They added: “The council will not provide further comment before cabinet has had the opportunity to make its decision.”

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