£44,000 £44,000 Eric Pickles has taken another step to restricting what he calls ‘town hall Pravdas’.

This week the MP for Brentwood and Ongar saw his bill, which limits council publications to just four per year, passed in the House of Lords.

The Local Authority and Accountability Bill allows the government to intervene if authorities do not abide by guidelines and also gives journalists the right to film and use social media inside council meetings.

Despite releasing guidelines in June last year, Mr Pickles says that many authorities have ignored them and are putting local media, accountability and democracy under threat.

Council publicity deemed too political will also be against regulations under the bill.

The bill also covers a range of other issues.

These include allowing the use of private companies to carry out audits of public bodies.

Epping Forest District Council releases three publications per year called the 'Forester' with a budget of £44,000.