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Complainant Name:
Ms Ruth MacLaren and Ms Suzanne Meadowcroft

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: North Devon Journal


Ms Ruth MacLaren and Ms Suzanne Meadowcroft complained to the Press Complaints Commission regarding articles published in an opinion column, which criticised their decision and that of their neighbours to erect a gate at the end of an alleyway adjoining their homes. They said that the articles were inaccurate and misled readers by failing to acknowledge the full facts of the situation.


The editor said that its columnist's views were clearly presented as such, and that the newspaper had therefore been entitled to publish them. The complaint was resolved when the PCC helped to negotiate an assurance from the editor that:

(i). The newspaper would note the following points raised in the complaint:

1. The complainants and their neighbours did not act unilaterally against the public;

2. They sought advice and co-operated fully with all interested agencies;

3. They had followed lawful process, co-operating with the local council. They did not "force" the Council to spend public money, nor did they "ignore" council recommendations.

(ii) The complainants would be contacted prior to the publication of future articles about the gate, with a view to publication of a letter from them, or inclusion of their views in news coverage, at that time.

Date Published: 16/09/2010

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