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Referendum prompts ‘Independence for Dorking’ splash

A weekly newspaper asked its readers whether they backed “independence” for their local patch in a front page inspired by Scotland’s referendum.

As Scots went to the polls yesterday to decide whether to break away from the UK, the Dorking Advertiser produced its own unique take on the devolution issue.

It reported on a bid by councillors and business leaders in the Surrey commuter-belt town to set up their own independent town council amid claims its needs were being ignored by the district and county councils.

At a meeting held earlier this week, the group agreed to stage a referendum to ask townspeople for their views.

Advertiser reporter Michael Davies said: “We got the story on the Monday night. It was something we knew might come up but couldn’t have asked for more perfect timing as we are a weekly publishing on a Thursday.

“Planning our coverage on Tuesday morning, we realised it was the perfect opportunity to use that day’s Scottish referendum for inspiration and everything just fell into place.

“We gave the designer a fairly vague brief about designing a flag and he came up with that. We think it’s brilliant and we’ve had an amazing amount of positive feedback about it.”

Editor Deanne Blaylock tweeted: “Very proud of our Dorking Advertiser front page this week.”