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Freedom of the Press - Letter to the Editor

July 18, 2018 10:50 AM
By Pat Marsh

Pat Marsh (Pat Marsh/HBC)Dear Editor,

We have been extremely concerned to hear reports that the Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Councillor Richard Cooper, is alleged to have instructed all Cabinet Members not to talk or respond to your previous Harrogate-based Local Democracy Reporter, making his position untenable.

If this is true it is outrageous and rather ironically, it completely contradicts the whole idea of local Democracy!

If freedom of the press is not upheld and strongly supported, then our society will be so much the poorer.

We trust that as Editor of our local newspaper you would strongly oppose any interference from anyone in relation to whom you wish to employ and that you will always promote balanced reporting and resist any temptation towards bias of any kind.

This is not the first time we have seen this kind of behaviour from Cllr Cooper towards individual Residents of our District. It raises the question: what is Councillor Cooper so afraid of? Perhaps he worries about the truth coming out?

The Leader of the Council should be willing to talk to anyone who wishes to speak to him and with regard to any concerns they might have. He should not be afraid of criticism and if he is, perhaps it's time he stepped aside and let someone else do the job.


Lib Dem Group Harrogate Borough Council

Cllr Pat Marsh

Cllr Philip Broadbank

Cllr Trevor Chapman

Cllr Tom Watson

Cllr Christine Willoughby

Cllr Matthew Webber

Cllr Chris Aldred