The Oldham Chronicle used 12 pages of the paper on Tuesday to print the whole of the 60-page Ritchie report into the race riots in the city last May, during which the newspaper’s office was fire-bombed.
Ritchie’s was one of the independent reports published on Tuesday which had been commissioned by the Home Office after Burnley, Bradford and Oldham exploded in racial conflict.
Chronicle editor Jim Williams took the decision to publish the report in full because, he said, it was meant for all the people of Oldham and the best chance they would have of seeing it was if the Chronicle published it.
Overall, the newspaper’s executives were impressed with the report. "What Oldham needed more than anything was an objective outsider’s view," said Williams, "and Ritchie and his team have provided us with that. A lot of their recommendations make an awful lot of sense.
"The thing we are waiting for now, with some anxiety, is the extent to which the Government is prepared to provide the sort of money to put the recommendations in place – reckoned at £16m a year."
Williams said the newspaper would be approaching its local MPs – all Labour and including Michael Meacher – before deciding whether it would launch a campaign to secure Government funding.
By Jean Morgan