MP for Chipping Barnet Theresa Villiers has backed a campaign to get extra help for local newspapers during the Covid crisis. Responding to a request from her constituency's last remaining local paper, the Barnet Times, Theresa has thrown her support behind an appeal to Government to place ad in local papers to provide information on the health emergency, and to include local papers in the business rates holiday announced for businesses such as pubs and restaurants.
"I am really worried about the impact of the Covid crisis on local media. Papers like the Barnet Times provide an invaluable source of local news and information. It would be a great loss to the community if they were to go out of business because of the coronavirus emergency lockdown. I am urging the Government to ensure its economic package of support helps local papers, and brings them within the scope of the business rates holiday which has been announced. The Government should also place ads in local papers to provide information to people on Covid-19 whilst at the same time providing vital funds to help keep these much valued local media outlets going."
The campaign also wants door-to-door paper deliveries to continue. After a local delivery company experienced difficulties, Theresa has spoken several times to police to highlight that door-to-door deliveries are permitted to continue under the lockdown and that officers should not therefore be trying to stop them from taking place.