Jeff Stelling and Boris Johnson among those supporting Local Newspaper Week

Jeff Stelling
Jeff Stelling

HARTLEPOOL’S most famous son says the paper where he started his career “gels the town together”.

Hartlepool-born Jeff Stelling, who presents Soccer Saturday, used to work at the Hartlepool Mail.

He said: “Local papers, like the Mail, are the glue that gels the town together. They give a perspective that you don’t get from national papers and they are hugely important for the voluntary and community sector and for local campaigns as well.”

He added that freedom of the press is “essential”.

Stuart Drummond, Hartlepool’s former directly elected mayor, said: “What the Mail is particularly good at is promoting local charities, groups and organisations and to give them a voice.”

And nationally, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, is also a keen supporter of the local press.

He said: “The way we ingest news is changing fast but I truly believe there remains an important place for well-informed, local journalism that speaks about the issues and concerns of the local community and gives people an important voice to share how they feel about this great country we live in.”