VULNERABLE residents will be contacted directly by council staff following the axeing of a free magazine delivered to up to 50,000 households in the Vale.

The council magazine Unvaled, delivered to residents in the Vale of White Horse District Council area, has been scrapped to save £39,600 a year.

Unvaled was delivered to all homes in the district three times a year and cost £13,200 per edition.

But the council says it now plans to make better use of other ways of communicating with residents, including the council’s website.

And it has pledged that it will use data from its assisted bins collection service, and other information, to identify residents who might need additional help.

Council leader Matthew Barber said: “We can identify who vulnerable people are in the community – that could be about 5,000 households.

“For example, we will have information showing which residents are at risk of flooding, and then we can send them a letter or pamphlet, which is cheaper than sending the information to everyone.”

He said officers will draw up a new communications strategy to this end, and he assured elderly residents and the vulnerable that they would still be able to get the information they need, even if they do not have access to the internet.

Mr Barber said council leaders looked at a number of options including redesigning the magazine, or reducing the number of editions, when the Conservative group took control of the council from the Liberal Democrats in May.

But he added: “The feedback we were getting was that the vast majority of residents were putting the magazine straight in the recycling bin without reading it.”

The money saved can be spent on services, he said.