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Cash cuts spells final chapter for magazine

PUBLISHED: 13:12 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:04 07 September 2010

A COMMUNITY magazine is having to fold, after crucial funding has come to an end. The Fleet has been a much-read monthly publication distributed for free around South End Green, Gospel Oak and Kentish Town.

Ed Thomas

A COMMUNITY magazine is having to fold, after crucial funding has come to an end.

The Fleet has been a much-read monthly publication distributed for free around South End Green, Gospel Oak and Kentish Town.

Run entirely by volunteers for the benefit of the community, this month will see its final edition go to press.

Sadly, funding from the Go Partnership has dried up, meaning thousands will no longer be able to read the articles and 'what's on' listings which have been offered for a number of years.

"We are really very frustrated about this. We have been an independent, impartial and trusted magazine serving the community for years, but unless there's a miracle we are finished," said chairman Spike Williams.

"We have always been very lucky with volunteers writing on the editorial side. Feedback we have had from journalists living in the area has always been very good, considering it's a hand-made paper.

"But without the funding, we are stuck. A Lottery grant would save us, but the likelihood of that very slim."

The Fleet started life as a quarterly publication, but after market research and feedback from readers it was produced on a monthly basis from August 2006 to meet the growing demand.

Over the years it has tackled major issues such as youth activities, crime and anti-social behaviour, fundraising drives by charitable organisations and listed an extensive 'what's on' guide for people of all ages.

Some £8,000 in funding was secured when it became a monthly magazine, which has now run out and not been renewed by the Go Partnership, which is based in Wellesley Road and aims to promote life in the area with Camden Council and government funding.

One avid reader of the The Fleet is Silla Carron, a Pride of Britain award winner for her work on the Clarence Way estate.

"They've always brought a bundle of copies down to me so I can hand them out and people love it," she said.

"It's been very good while it lasted - full of interesting local news which is relevant to people around here.

"It's very sad to see it go. The people behind it work very hard, and they deserve more than this."

A spokesman for the Go Partnership said he hoped the next edition of the Fleet would not be the last.

"The funding The Fleet had from us has run out, and they are not in the process of applying to the Lottery for a grant," he said.

"We are helping them with that, and looking for funding for them from elsewhere as well.

"We hope The Fleet will not disappear completely. Funding is also decreasing for us as well, so it is a very hard time for everyone. The idea is that The Fleet will become a self-sufficient publication, running off advertising from local shops and businesses."

ed.thomas@hamhigh.co.uk


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