FREEDOM of the Press is a cornerstone of British society.

This country is a democracy and freedom of speech is every man's birthright.

Public statements, whether made by a newspaper or an individual, must be based on fact.

But as long as they have, no-one should be restricted on expressing their opinion.

That is why we deplore any attempt to cover-up local feeling on, for example, the Neil Hamilton case.

One member claims the rank and file Tories have been ordered to keep their protests about our MP to themselves.

If, despite their denials, this is true, the Conservative Association is going against the democratic tradition which this country has always held so dear.

The member is right to expose it. It is telling indeed that she insists on remaining anonymous.

JET-SKIS are a blight on rural life.

They are a noisy nuisance and have harmed the environment at Pickmere.

They continue to be operated on the once-serene lake despite Macclesfield Borough Council's efforts to stop them.

Now they have proved to be dangerous too.

One young man has lost his life while riding a jet-ski. Villagers say it was the tragedy they had been hoping never to see but nevertheless expected.

Watersports have been suspended for a week as a mark of respect to Paul Byram.

They should now be banned for good. It's what the residents want and it's what the local authority wants.

IT has been acknowledged by local traders and businessmen that Knutsford needs a leader to help its shopping centre flourish again.

They could do worse than look to Wilmslow for inspiration.

There, Di Wilson has taken the town by the scruff of the neck and given it an encouraging shake.

She has provided the foresight, initiative and drive to turn the town's fortunes around.

Even apparent threats like out-of-town superstores have been turned to Wilmslow's advantage.

Let's hope for Knutsford's sake that current moves to boost our town are as successful.

Converted for the new archive on 13 March 2001. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.