THE last edition of Wirral Council's controversial free newspaper will be published in October, it has been confirmed.

A vote to end Wirral View once and for all was made during a full council meeting in July, with a recommendation urging cabinet to "urgently accept the decision of council and ensure that no further money is thrown down the drain."

A town hall spokesperson confirmed the publication would be ending in October.

The title, which has been blighted by distribution issues since its inception, has so far cost the authority £402,000.

Advertising revenue promised at the time has failed to materialise.

During the council meeting in July, Conservatives had called a vote to end the publication once and for all.

The move was backed by 31 councillors, as Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent voted together to scrap it.

Twenty-nine Labour councillors voted to keep it but to carry out a review at the end of the year.

Commenting on the Town Hall's decision to scrap the failing Wirral View, Conservative group leader Ian Lewis said: "I'm pleased the Town Hall has, finally taken notice of the concerns of residents at this terrible waste of money.

"Following Labour losing control of the Council in May, one of our first moves was to call a vote to stop this waste and, while Labour voted to continue with it, I'm grateful for the support of the other parties to ensure that a majority of councillors decided enough was enough.

"The Wirral View was plagued with problems from the beginning; half the borough never received it, advertisers never materialised and it led to the closure of the Wirral News.

"While we cannot recover the £402,000 that has been wasted on this project, the next edition will be the last.

"There is also a lesson here for the Government – if you are going to issue guidelines against this kind of waste, have the courage to enforce them.”

Cllr Phil Gilchrist, leader of Wirral's Liberal Democrat group said: "A huge amount of staff time were poured into this. It was costly and ineffective. It will not be missed."

The paper set the authority on collision course with the Department for Communities & Local Government from the word go as it breaks the "publicity code."

The rules state town hall papers should not be published more than quarterly and must not resemble commercial newspapers.

In 2017, the then local government minister Marcus Jones sent several warnings about publishing Wirral View 12 times per year.

His office told the Globe the DCLG expects all councils to abide by the code.

Mr Jones said at the time: "An independent free press is vital for local democracy and it’s important that we support them in holding local leaders to account.

"Councils shouldn't undermine local democracy by publishing their own newsletters more often than quarterly."