A chap came into the office the other day.
He was holding a box of chocolates and a bottle of bubbles and wanted to see one of my reporters.
In October we launched the We’ll Sort it’ campaign — a fairly simple plan to put pressure on the council to fix those annoying issues that impact people’s daily lives.
The man with the chocolates was overjoyed because for months his mum had been stuck inside — and the Norwich Evening News sorted it.
He paving slabs outside Madeleine’s home had broken and become uneven. For most of us not a big deal.
But for the 84-year-old who walks with sticks this meant it was simply too dangerous to leave her front door. But it wasn’t until we piled the pressure on that the council pulled their finger out.
In an age where reporters are bombarded with abuse on social media a box of chocs and some wine was quite the surprise.
“The Evening News is the paper of the people!” another happy reader declared a few days ago in response to yet another problem solved.
So far we’ve fixed the city hall clock. We’ve had a huge overgrown bush that was making it impossible to walk along the pavement chopped back. We’ve had yellow lines painted. And pay and display parking machines removed.
We’ve even got some siblings who were living in a tiny one bedroom flat a more suitable place elsewhere in the city.
You might say “the council were always going to fix those problems” — but some of the people we’ve helped had been trying to get their problem fixed for years.
Then suddenly, as if by magic, it’s sorted. Funny that.
This is the power of local news. And this is the kind of thing I am determined the Evening News will be synonymous for — looking out for ordinary folk and doing our best for them.
The council aren’t best chuffed at the increased scrutiny though.