One of the most important roles of a local newspaper is to make the opinions of the communities we represent heard - no matter what that opinion may be. When we printed a reader’s letter last week raising the issue of whether pensioners deserved to travel on buses for free, we knew it would be a hot topic. How right we were ... as you’ll read on Pages 48, 49, 74 and 75. Yes, so manyDerbyshire folk were so incensed by the controversial letter we have devoted a Letters Page Special to the issue. That is because we always do our best to make sure both sides are heard - particularly when it matters to so many. It doesn’t stop there though. The debate was raging on social media within minutes of it being published online and long before the first post or even emails began to arrive. We even received a few angry phone calls demanding to know why we would print such a letter and how your trusty DT could think such a thing. Well, just to make absolutely clear, as with all letters it was representing the views of a reader and not our own. But it is vitally important that such debates are allowed to flourish in a free press. Many are pure fun, some are extremely serious but all give a voice to the unheard. So come on Derbyshire, make sure you keep putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboards and thumbs to mobiles because we love hearing your views. And letters page fans, grab your bus pass - you may be in for a rough ride.
Graeme Huston - Editor