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‘It was pandemonium’ - Norfolk newsagents hit hard after Extinction Rebellion protest

PUBLISHED: 14:33 06 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:54 09 September 2020

Dersingham News said thousands of papers were not delivered to customers after the Extinction Rebellion protest in Broxbourne. Photo: Dersingham News

Dersingham News said thousands of papers were not delivered to customers after the Extinction Rebellion protest in Broxbourne. Photo: Dersingham News

Dersingham News

Newsagents across Norfolk faced “pandemonium” as customers were left without their daily newspapers which is set to cost business owners thousands.

Newsagent Newsklip in Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillanNewsagent Newsklip in Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillan

After an Extinction Rebellion protest outside of at a printing press in Broxbourne on Saturday many were left wondering when they would receive their daily paper.

The Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News were amongst the newspapers affected and printing was moved to another site, in Watford, in an effort to get them out to readers.

They were unable to print on Saturday, but the EDP and Norwich Evening News weekend editions have been available in shops on Sunday and a large number of home deliveries were also made on the day.

At Dersingham News, business owner Mike Rivers, said he could not believe the impact that it had on his business and his customers.

Owner of Newsklip, Scott Saunders. Picture: Aaron McMillanOwner of Newsklip, Scott Saunders. Picture: Aaron McMillan

He said: “The impact was enormous. The telephone didn’t stop ringing, people very upset they wouldn’t get the paper and asking questions we couldn’t answer.

“It was just pandemonium all morning.

“I cannot believe the impact that it has had and the damage it has done, the support and sympathy from readers has gone out of the window.

“They have alienated 90pc of the public from that one action.”

A protester holds up an Extinction Rebellion banner, behind him emergency services use a cherry picker to attempt to remove protesters and dismantle the bamboo lock-ons they are using to block the road outside the Newsprinters printing works at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 5, 2020. Extinction Rebellion continues with its plans to hold 10 days of demonstrations across central London as part of its ongoing campaign to highlight climate change. See PA story PROTEST Climate. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA WireA protester holds up an Extinction Rebellion banner, behind him emergency services use a cherry picker to attempt to remove protesters and dismantle the bamboo lock-ons they are using to block the road outside the Newsprinters printing works at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 5, 2020. Extinction Rebellion continues with its plans to hold 10 days of demonstrations across central London as part of its ongoing campaign to highlight climate change. See PA story PROTEST Climate. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

He added: “We have self-employed men and women who deliver to over 1,000 customer across 15 villages in west Norfolk.

“We had them standing by all morning so it spoiled their day as well.

“It was terrible but the worst part was that older people didn’t understand what was going on and trying to explain that to them was quite a problem.”

James Browse, from News Delivery, a home delivery business based in Halvergate, said they lost around £1,400 on Saturday.

Police maintain a loose cordon as emergency services use a cherry picker to attempt to remove protesters and dismantle the bamboo lock-ons they are using to block the road outside the Newsprinters printing works at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 5, 2020. Extinction Rebellion continues with its plans to hold 10 days of demonstrations across central London as part of its ongoing campaign to highlight climate change. See PA story PROTEST Climate. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA WirePolice maintain a loose cordon as emergency services use a cherry picker to attempt to remove protesters and dismantle the bamboo lock-ons they are using to block the road outside the Newsprinters printing works at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 5, 2020. Extinction Rebellion continues with its plans to hold 10 days of demonstrations across central London as part of its ongoing campaign to highlight climate change. See PA story PROTEST Climate. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

“It has impacted us greatly,” said Mr Browse.

“But the biggest impact is financial, because we still paid out for wages but we had no money coming in, we didn’t receive the delivery income or the newspaper commission.

“We had 2,000 customers across Norfolk who didn’t receive a newspaper.

“From a business point of view after Covid, it’s really not what we needed.

“Saturday is the worst day to hit us, that is when the most papers are delivered and the day when we have the most readers.”

Scott Saunders, from Newsklip newsagents in Fakenham, added: “Financially it has hit us very hard.

“With what is going on with Covid this year, it has been challenging and testing times so for this to happen as well is very hard.

“The protestors haven’t thought about it all and how people’s livelihoods are on the line, including the drivers, couriers and everyone involved.

“We deliver to about 1,200 homes and it affected about 800 customers on Saturday, most of which are of an elderly age, so it’s a massive hit for them too.”


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