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Our pledges to you as the Norwich Evening News enters 2020

PUBLISHED: 05:59 01 January 2020

A stunning image from Mousehold Heath looking over Norwich city.

A stunning image from Mousehold Heath looking over Norwich city.

(c) copyright newzulu.com

Editor David Powles outlines his team's priorities for 2020.

The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England.The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham. Pic: Highways England.

Dear reader,

I wish every single one of you a happy and prosperous new year and can I start it by saying thank you for the custom and loyalty you have shown during 2019. Whether you access us through print, online, video or social media, your support means so much.

As has been discussed many times before in this annual January 1 column, the regional media is in a very interesting place at the moment and times for reflection such as this really bring home the challenges we face.

For decade after decade the tools may have changed, but ultimately the priority has been largely the same, produce a newspaper for the community six days a week, 52 weeks a year.

The internet has changed all of that and now my team of hard-working journalists is tasked with not only producing cracking newspapers, but keeping our ever growing online audience informed with almost round-the-clock news, sport, entertainment, analysis and so much more.

And it gives me heart that you keep on coming back for more...and more.

In 2019 your Norwich Evening News reached massive audiences of up to, and often above, 50,000 people every single day.

And that's why, going into 2020, I feel confident about our place in the community and our ongoing ability to serve it well. Hopefully you feel the same.

The recent general election has shown the importance of having a strong and independent local media in a community. Whilst social media is over-run with noise, fake news and mis-information - you can rely on us to be impartial.

While some of the nationals take whatever stance suits them or their owners - you can rely on us to aim to be fair and balanced.

We might not always get it right - we're only human and when you consider we publish hundreds of stories a week, there may at times be error. But the only biased we will ever show is towards what is best for Norwich and Norfolk.

But please don't take this as complacency. We are anything but. The end of 2019 has been a good opportunity to do some reflection of where we need to go over the next few years.

And while our priorities remain largely the same; including to present the news, fight your injustices, hold to account, celebrate success and generally do good for the community, I am determined we step up our game even more in these key areas.

Therefore our first pledge in this new year is to put our journalistic talents to even greater use, fight even harder on the key issues that matter to you and put the decision makers under even more scrutiny. We'll be fair, but firm.

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Easy to say I know, but as always you the reader and your loyalty (or otherwise) will be the judge as to how well we do.

ISSUES FACING THE CITY

Prior to the general election these were some of the key issues we identified as facing Norwich and Norfolk and in need of attention. We called on prospective MPs to pledge to fight for every single one. As we move into 2020 we will continue to hold the powers that be to account over these and any other matters that impact our readers. They are:

- An end to social injustice and better lives for those living in poverty or extreme hardship in our city

- Parity of esteem for mental health and finally get the mental health trust out of special measures

- Continue to fight for full dualling of the A47

- Fight for more sustainable cash for our councils so crucial services can be provided

- Solve the social care crisis to improve care for our vulnerable and older people

- Increased scrutiny of rail performance, appropriate investment, better east/west links and making Norwich in 90 minutes the norm

- More affordable housing to be built while protecting Norfolk and Waveney's character and a guarantee of adequate provision where there are new builds

- Pledge to drive down carbon emissions by investment in public transport and cycling lanes

- Stamp out the scourge of county lines drugs gangs by increasing investment in a dedicated team of police officers

What are the issues that matter to you? I'd love to hear what you think we should cover. Please email me at david.powles@archant.co.uk

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