Plans by a Hertfordshire weekly to move its main offices to a neighbouring town have sparked political uproar from local councillors.
Advertiser bosses say they plan to maintain an office presence in St Albans, with reporters hot-desking and working out and about with laptops.
But local Liberal Democrat councillors have launched a public petition in protest at the move, which they hope to raise at a full council meeting next month.
St Albans Council group leader councillor Robert Donald said: “It is vital for many local businesses to be able to advertise in the local newspaper, which also provides an essential channel for democratic dialogue for local residents.
“We are therefore shocked at the suggestion that the Herts Advertiser could, after 155 years, be leaving St Albans.
“I hope that all those who want to keep competitive local newspapers going in St Albans will sign this petition, so that this matter can be debated at the next council meeting.
“I hope that cross-party support can be achieved on this important matter.”
The petition requires 500 signatures to ensure a debate can take place at the council meeting on 23 November.
It states: “We the undersigned are concerned at Archant’s plans to relocate the 156-year-old Herts Advertiser newspaper outside St Albans District.
“We believe that the economic and community benefits of having local newspapers currently based in St Albans, through jobs and advertising opportunities for local businesses, as well as ensuring local democratic dialogue, make it imperative to maintain competitive local newspapers in our District.
“We therefore call on Archant to work with the District Council, local groups and public bodies in St Albans, such as the Chamber of Commerce, to find a solution that would keep the Herts Advertiser within St Albans City and District.”
Archant Herts & Cambs commercial director, Amanda Davison-Young, said: “It is very important for our publications to be based in the communities which they serve and we have no intention of moving The Herts Advertiser from St Albans.
“We are looking at moving offices but will be keeping an office presence in the town, utlising modern methods of working such as hot desking and more mobile reporters with laptops working out and about on their patch.
“Our customers, whether they want to speak to a reporter, discuss an advert or pick up a paper will still be able to do so in St Albans just like they have for the past 156 years.”