Thurrock Independent newspaper closes

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THE publisher of the Thurrock Independent newspaper has announced that the paper is closing but has also pledged that he will be back.

Neil Speight, who has also edited the Thurrock Gazette and the Essex Enquirer made the announcement on Wednesday night.

Neil Speight said: “If you have a print copy of this in your hands tomorrow put it somewhere safe because I have to announce that this 80th edition of the Thurrock Independent will be the last in its current format.

“Thank-you to all those who have supported the title, but a combination of financial pressure, the consistently adversarial and morally bankrupt attitude of Thurrock Council – for which 49 councillors should hang their heads in shame – and the ravages of time and illness on myself mean it’s time for a break. There’s only so long I can ignore the doctor, and the wife, and the kids, and the girls in the office lol. ‘Stop before you drop’ was the message so I have – for a little while anyway.

There are not enough words to express my disappointment, nor my thanks to those who have steadfastly backed the paper including my close team of Danielle Peck, Joe Shaw, Vicky Healy and Andy Lever and those regular contributors like Sue Yates and Courtney-Lee Collins, both remarkable young ladies that helped make this paper unique. Other supporters and contributors are greatly appreciated and those who have dipped into their wallets will have their anonymity preserved but you know who you are and you have my gratitude.

I should also thank the IT team at Ghost Services and Sharmans of Peterborough. Terrific people.

I shall have the brickbats for another day but suffice to say some truths have yet to come out and those that know about these things can be sure the bullies and the dissolute will get their comeuppance one day. They may even be celebrating reading this, but I can assure them it’s a pyrrhic victory.

After 80 editions it’s time to go, recharge the batteries and see what the future brings. The website will continue so part of this great little paper, of which I am immensely proud, will live on. We started this journey in May 2017 and I couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved in journalistic terms. Sustainable success was always just agonisingly a hair’s breath away and we were never quite able to kick out of first and second gear and as we approach a difficult time of year, common sense (never my strong point) says take a break.

“However, there are plans in the making for a comeback even at this stage. Watch this space as they say!”

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