Reach in disgrace

Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror was attacked yesterday by the MP for Wells in a debate over the Cairncross Report. James Heappey attacked the newspaper group for removing the archives of the Wells Journal from the City and despite saying lovely words, doing precisely nothing to get them returned.

The Hansard report of his exchange with Jeremy Wright The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport went as follows:

James Heappey

Our local papers have an essential role in chronicling all that happens in our local communities. Their archives are therefore an important local resource, so the Secretary of State will be alarmed to hear that, when Trinity Mirror took over the Mid Somerset newspapers in 2016, it removed from Wells all of those archives, and despite many promises of their return it has failed to deliver thus far. Will my right hon. Friend intervene and seek to expedite their return from Watford to Wells?

Jeremy Wright

I will certainly look into what my hon. Friend says. I agree with the general tenor of his remarks. It is important that we not only preserve the ability of our local newspapers to report on what happens now and what will happen in the future, but do our best to preserve the crucial record that they have created of what has happened in the past.

It is not just a shame when a venerable newspaper group fails to understand the importance to a local archive of the local newspaper. It is almost incomprehensible.

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