Big Issue relocation reportedly causes disquiet

THERE is reportedly disquiet in Wales over the relocation of its version of the Big Issue magazine to Scotland – except for a single staff writer.

Reports MediaGuardian, staff at the Big Issue in Scotland have this week taken over responsibility for the Welsh edition of the weekly magazine, which is sold by homeless people, with next week’s edition of Big Issue Cymru being produced from the Big Issue in Scotland’s Glasgow office.

Lawrence Shaw, the National Union of Journalists organiser for Wales, is quoted, saying: “It damages a valuable product. There are not that many magazines made in Wales for a Welsh audience. It’s a disgrace, there is no real reason to do this, they could easily retain the staff there.”

Paul McNamee, the Big Issue in Scotland editor, will assume editorial responsibility for the title. The design will also be done in Glasgow. The print operation for both the Scottish and Welsh editions will remain at Bicester in Oxfordshire.

Says MediaGuardian, Big Issue Cymru circulation decreased by an average of 11 per cent, year-on-year, from 9,561 to 8,451 during the first six months of this year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The Big Issue in Scotland saw an average year-on-year circulation decline over the same period, from 27,756 to 22,210; a drop of 20 per cent.