London Mayor Sadiq Khan is being urged to broker a deal to end the dispute between journalists and managers at Newsquest’s South London titles.
National Union of Journalists members at the Sutton-based South London Guardian and News Shopper series returned to work this week following a two-week stoppage in protest at plans to axe up to 11 editorial roles.
Now the London Assembly has unanimously passed a motion calling on Mr Khan to “engage” with the two sides to find a solution.
Under the company’s plans, a team of 12 reporters, four content editors and a web editor will cover the whole South London patch.
The motion read: “This Assembly is deeply concerned about Newsquest South London’s plans to significantly reduce its workforce, and at a time when resources for news provision across the capital are already considerably stretched.
“This Assembly believes that newsroom staff across the city provide an essential service informing the public and raising their awareness of key issues in their local areas. They serve as a valuable means of engaging individuals with the democratic process, informing Londoners of the work we do here at the London Assembly.
“To lose or greatly compromise the ability of newsroom staff to continue to serve the public in this way would be regrettable. London needs quality local newspapers to ensure democratic scrutiny, accountability, and to encourage an informed and active citizenship – these proposals do not provide that.
“This Assembly calls on the Mayor to continue to engage with the NUJ and Newsquest in this dispute to find a solution that maintains the quality of the South London Press publications, and commit to look at ways in which local newspaper provision can be supported in London.”