Growing support for the Black Country Bugle
20 May 2016
There is growing local support to oppose plans to cut staff and relocate the Black Country Bugle. The title covers the Black Country’s four boroughs – Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall and last week new plans were announced to cut three staff, including the editor and at least one reporter, to leave a staff of just two reporters working remotely. move editorial production to Tamworth and allocate work to an editor who already runs five weekly titles in Staffordshire and the West Midlands.
This week Members of Parliament have written to Trinity Mirror’s chief executive Simon Fox to raise concerns about the proposals and MPs have expressed their support for the NUJ’s campaign.
The MPs include Ian Austin, David Winnick, John Spellar, Rob Marris, Valerie Vaz, Adrian Bailey and Emma Reynolds.
The union believes prospective purchasers are looking at the title at the moment and the NUJ is currently working on a robust alternative plan to put to the company early next week.
The next round of staff consultations is on Tuesday and local MP Ian Austin is meeting the NUJ chapel today. He has tabled an early day motion in parliament:
That this House opposes the decision to move the offices of the Black Country Bugle newspaper from Dudley to Tamworth; recognises the Bugle's popularity with the million people it reaches across the Black Country; celebrates the contribution the Bugle makes in highlighting the best of the Black Country and the region's history as the birthplace of the industrial revolution; and urges Trinity Mirror to pause its plans and to consult on saving jobs and keeping the paper in the heart of the Black Country.
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said:
"Since Trinity Mirror revealed its plan to slash staff at the Black Country Bugle and take it out of the area, the support for looking for a more workable and positive solution for all has been growing.
"Key players in the four Black Country boroughs are getting behind the NUJ's call to keep the Bugle where it belongs - in the Black Country.
"I have held a number of discussions that suggest a better way forward is possible and that is what I will be pursuing with vigour with the company.
"There is a great business and future waiting to burst out from the Bugle and with goodwill and good sense this can happen."