Prime Minister Theresa May

Great local newspapers are at the heart of their communities. They keep their readers informed and entertained, and help hold those of us in politics to account.

A strong and independent free press, unashamedly seeking out the truth and speaking that truth to power, is one of Britain’s proudest traditions. It is a pillar of our democracy.

The dedicated journalism of local reporters, combined with the campaigning muscle provided by trusted local titles, has helped to improve the lives of people in communities across the whole country.

It is important for us to remember that truthful, accurate and informed reporting from local papers can be a tremendous force for good.

Local newspapers do not always make for easy reading for politicians, but that is just as it should be. As the Government does all it can to ensure wealth and opportunity are spread across every community in our United Kingdom, I look forward to that work being scrutinized, challenged and reported on by a vibrant and vital local press.