Editor Neil Speight has done a u-turn on his plans to return to his roots and take up a new job in Yorkshire.
It means he’ll be staying in his role as editor of the Thurrock Gazette, instead of taking up a role in public relations for a local authority.
He says an “overwhelming feeling of warmth and support” from people at Newsquest Essex and the Thurrock community prompted the change of heart.
But the non-move has left him apologising to East Riding of Yorkshire Council and his boss at Newsquest, editorial director Martin McNeill.
Neil was to have returned to Yorkshire to take a position as editor and press manager for the council, but this week told his staff he would be staying put after all.
He said: “When I was offered the position in East Yorkshire I said leaving the Gazette was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make and so it has proved.
“For the last three weeks I have received so many comments from people in the business and outside it saying they wished I would stay that in the end it became impossible for me to make any other decision.
“I must make a very public apology to East Riding Council and in particular to head of communication Andrew Milner. I have messed him and the excellent team of people there about and for that I am somewhat ashamed and very sorry.
“However in the end I had to do what my heart was telling me and I am grateful to my editorial director Martin McNeill for allowing me to change my mind at some inconvenience to him.”
He said that he also needed to say thank you to those who had shown support and put faith in his ability and added: “I only hope that I don’t let them down.”
Prior to joining the Thurrock Gazette Neil was the launch editor of the East Riding Gazette, and has also previously edited the Holderness Gazette, the Wakefield Express Series, the Scarborough Evening News and the Suffolk Free Press.
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