Torquay Herald Express editor Andy Phelan (pictured) urged elected mayors to oppose the Government's proposals to curb the Freedom of Information Act.
Speaking at the Elected Mayors' Forum, organised by the New Local Government Network, at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torbay, he said: "I'd like to make one small request. As you will know the Government is proposing to make major changes to the Freedom of Information Act.
"As those elected to represent the best interests of the people, I assume you all support the principle of freedom of information and understand the dangers of watering down the existing legislation.
"Please make your opposition known, either through your local newspapers, who will point you in the direction of the petition that's up and running, or directly to your MPs. It's an important cause and I'm sure you will be listened to."
Mayors were present from around the country apart from London's Ken Livingstone and Middlesbrough's Ray Mallon. Phelan told Press Gazette: "I cornered a couple of mayors afterwards and generally speaking they could see that as representatives of the people this is one of the things they should be standing up for."