London freesheets LondonLite and thelondonpaper are facing radical distribution cutbacks across Westminster after failing to meet the London council’s financial demands to help clear up excess litter.
Next week, Westminster Council is expected to vote through new powers to tackle what it terms “the mountain of waste ending up on its streets, following the introduction of the free evening newspapers”.
The council will task Associated Newspapers and News International with organising its own litter-picking and recycling across the council, including providing 70 collection bins across the district, which includes much of the West End.
If the newspapers fail to agree or meet the proposals, the council could enforce strict demands on them, including a possible 30% reduction in distribution points across parts of its area.
Cabinet member for street environment Councillor Alan Bradley says: “We are disappointed that we have not been able to reach a financial agreement with both publishers to date, but the door to negotiation is still open.
“However, we can cannot afford to let the problem of waste newspapers defacing our streets continue. This proposal will give us that authority for the statutory scheme to be implemented if the voluntary agreement fails.”