By Liam Thorp, politics reporter, Liverpool Echo
The arrival of four bright, hard working and diligent new local democracy reporters in the Echo newsroom has hugely bolstered our political coverage and means we are now heavily scrutinising every aspect of local government across the entire Liverpool City Region.
The Local Democracy Project means we are able to attend meetings, pore over reports and write stories that we were previously unable to do — and that is a great thing for us, our readers and for the accountability of local government.
Trinity Mirror (now Reach PLC) secured the contract to provide the service, in partnership with Newsquest. Kenny Lomas covers St Helens and is employed by Newsquest, while Nicholas Tyrrell, Tom Houghton, Faye Brown and Kate Lally are all based at the Echo’s new Old Hall Street offices.
It can never be disputed that scrutiny of those elected into power is a hugely important thing and while I am aware that some councils across our region have been slightly taken aback by the new level of detail in which they are being examined — most will surely agree that it is no bad thing.
Following on from the success of the Echo’s main daily newsletter, we decided that a great way to showcase the work of the LDRs would be to launch a new weekly newsletter which would highlight the best stories from across the local councils each week.
Being that we are the Liverpool Echo — a brand well known for its attitude, opinion and insight — we want our newsletter to offer readers more than just a recap of the week, with some extra gossip, detail and intrigue from the political world that has been picked up by myself and the team.
Merseyside is a deeply political region and it is fantastic that so many people are engaging with our political content — and equally great that we now have such a strong team which is able to hold each council to account and inform readers of all the important news specific to their area.
A new newsletter is just one of a range of things we are looking to do to ensure that our political coverage can serve our readers in the best way possible.
And if that’s not enough, there is a picture of the team in a stance reminiscent of the Anchorman film!