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    01 December, 2005

    Trinity Mirror job cuts

    Trinity Mirror, owners of the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Daily Post, Rhondda Leader and many others have announced yet more job cuts, despite telling us all recently how well their titles are doing. They also plan to merge the editorships of the Rhondda Leader and Pontypridd and Llantrisant Observer.

    My colleague Chris Bryant MP and I have started a campaign on this issue. Many other politicians in all parties feel the same.

    I raised this in business questions on Tuesday as soon as I got the news:

    Leighton Andrews: Could we have the opportunity, in due course, to debate the press in Wales, and, in particular, the position of the Trinity Mirror Group? I understand today that an announcement has been made of further redundancies in that group. I also understand that a proposal is now underway to merge the editorships of the Pontypridd and Llantrisant Observer and the Rhondda Leader. Both are excellent local newspapers, serving their communities well; it is estimated that the Rhondda Leader is read by roughly 60 per cent of the local population. It is important that we keep local access to newspapers and that we keep local newspapers with distinctive characters. I urge you to ensure that we can have a debate on this.

    The Minister replied:

    Jane Hutt: You raise important points, Leighton. The local media and press are important in terms of enhancing local democracy, and access, as you say, to information. I will raise this with my colleague, Alun Pugh, in terms of the impacts on your community of the changes in the Trinity Mirror Group.

    I have also tabled a Statement of Opinion in the Assembly, which will appear here when published. Chris has tabled an early Day Motion in the Commons, which should appear here when published. Here's the UK Press Gazette coverage.

    Rhondda TV
    The Labour Party

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