Local Democracy

Enfield Council's Annual Meeting - the first ever to be held online - saw a council-wide welcome for the appointment of Cllr Sabri Ozaydin as Mayor of Enfield. However, when debate turned to changes to committee structures and scrutiny arrangements there was dissent - not just from Conservatives and the new Community First group, but also from within the controlling Labour Party ranks. There was also disagreement over an increase in the number of councillors who will receive special responsibility allowances.

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The leading story in June's Enfield Dispatch is a warning about a crisis in the borough's care homes.

Enfield Dispatch will be among the news providers to benefit from grants from the European Journalism Covid-19 Support Fund, which is being provided jointly by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) and Facebook Journalism Project. In contrast, the UK government has neglected the plight of the country's independent news outlets.

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The May issue of Enfield Dispatch is now available in print or online. The prospects for the paper surviving the coronavirus pandemic are looking brighter.

Hidden behind the front window blinds of a house in a Palmers Green street is the centre of a discussion network that is international in scope, but never forgets that global issues are always felt locally.

Last week the government launched a public health campaign by taking out advertisements in hundreds of national and local news outlets, which will help them weather the financial storm caused by coronavirus - but they did not include the many small independent and non-commercial publications that fulfil a vital role in many parts of the country, including Enfield. One of the publications left in the lurch is Enfield Dispatch, which has lost at least half of its advertising revenue because of the vi

The financial security of the borough's community newspaper, Enfield Dispatch, is being seriously undermined by the Covid crisis and, like independent news providers across the country, and the social enterprise (Socent) sector more generally, it is falling between the cracks in the government schemes designed to support business during the lockdown. Despite this, its publisher, Social Spider CIC, says it is committed to continuing to print 10,000 copies a month

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'This is both the most important and most challenging edition we have published to date. Important because in a time of crisis local news plays a vital role in communicating how and where residents can get help - indeed, journalists reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic have been identified as key workers. Challenging because our editorial team was forced to work from home throughout the production process, while our regular distribution network of local businesses and charities is temporarily shutdown.'

Issue 18 of the free community newspaper Enfield Dispatch is now being distributed across the borough, so go and pick up your copy. You can also get it delivered to your door by becoming a member. By doing so you'll be helping keep local journalism alive and kicking.

The Local Government Boundaries Commission has issued its final recommendations for redrawing ward boundaries within the London Borough of Enfield. A radical redrawing of ward boundaries in our part of the borough will create a new Palmers Green ward shifted westwards compared with the present-day ward of that name, with Green Lanes and the Triangle as its centre of gravity and incorporating the whole of the Lakes Estate.

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Good news for everyone keen to maintain genuine local press reporting in Enfield! The February 2020 edition of Enfield Dispatch, now in its 17th month, is now making enough money through its membership scheme and from advertising to allow it to expand the number of pages from 16 to 20. It's confirmation that the social enterprise model of newspaper publishing that publisher Social Spider has been pioneering can work.

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The January 2020 issue of Enfield Dispatch is now available and includes a couple of features about our corner of the borough