“It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve as editor”

Roger Hawes
Roger Hawes

After three-and-a-half years at the helm, this will be my final editorial comment as editor of your newspaper.

It is with a heavy heart that I leave. It has been a privilege to lead the team here, but I have decided it is time to call it a day.

My departure comes at a time of change within the editorial teams in this area.

What will that change mean for regular readers and local organisations that deal with the papers on a day-to-day basis?

Well, very little in real terms as everyone will still be able to share local stories with their favourite local paper both in print and online.

And rest assured your papers and websites are not being left without an editor.

Jason Gibbins, currently editor of the Banbury Guardian, will be taking the helm, supported by the reporters and deputy editors Adam King and Ben Raza.

The communities content of the newspaper, the village pages and people news pages for instance, will be co-ordinated by community editor Neil Pickford and a new team of community reporters.

Damien Lucas, well-known to many of you, will be taking responsibility for growing the website audience in this area. In addition, a former editor of The Bucks Herald, David Summers, will be overall Group Editor for this title and a number of others.

I hope during my tenure you have appreciated the hard work at transforming all the papers into the modern interesting compact products you read today.

Times are changing in this industry and our titles have established excellent digital audiences. The challenge for the new team will be to continue this growth and expand our audiences even further.

From my first job in Hemel Hempstead as a sales clerk to a junior reporter on the Dunstable Gazette through to more than 25 years as a local paper editor - it has been a privilege to serve a large number of communities fulfilling my strongly held belief that whatever opportunities the new technology and new media throws our way ‘life still remains ‘truly local’’. Thank you all.