A row that has broken out between a parish council chairman and a Gloucestershire weekly has resulted in a complaint to the press watchdog and the threat of legal action against the newspaper.
It was sparked when the Stroud News & Journal published a story about the closure of a village post office in its January 30 edition.
The story, along with its offending headline, has been removed from the News & Journal website but relates to comments from a postmaster as to why he was closing down, citing the attitude of local politicians as a factor.
Minchinhampton Parish Council chairman Eilis Cope claims she was horrified – and libeled – by what was written in the paper and contacted the Press Complaints Commission.
She was also dissatisfied by editor Sue Smith’s written response to the PCC investigation, despite the News & Journal printing an apology concerning the original coverage.
All parties are now awaiting the press watchdog’s decision.
Coun Cope said: “I am also taking legal action on this.”
She claims: “The headline was libellous and she [the editor] has caused a lot of grief in this community.
“Why would we want to close this post office? It’s ridiculous. We have an ageing population and it is a key part of life here.”
Sue Smith was unavailable for comment. She has been editor of the weekly Stroud News & Journal since January 2005. She was previously news editor of the Journal for four years but started her journalism career in 1976 as a trainee reporter on the Bury Free Press in Bury St Edmunds.
June Griffin, publisher of the Stroud News and Journal, said: “We are not commenting on internal matters at the moment.”