Local newspapers are taken for granted by many readers - but they should never be under-valued, particularly as sadly many are under threat and many others have vanished forever.

This is Local Newspaper Week and it is only right that the fantastic role they play in community life should be highlighted.

Life gets ever harder for newspapers, particularly the weeklies, with decreased staffing levels and local authorities, hospital trusts and emergency services employing press officers to try to ensure only good news is revealed.

With local authorities using a cabinet system the so called transparency they preach can be anything but. However, determined journalists always seek after the truth on behalf of the communities they serve and that should never be forgotten.

Yours faithfully

James Carver, West Midlands UKIP MEP