WE at The National have some of the best letter writers contributing to our pages, but Ian Richmond of Pensioners for Independence has some advice for Yes groups and individuals to use local papers to get our points across.

He said: “Newspapers, in particular local newspapers, are a cheap and accessible way of getting your message across to a wide audience.

Most local newspapers started life as advertisers and added local news to engage the readership, so letters are a gift to hard-pressed editors.

“Try to establish a rapport with the editor and the reader – you are more likely to persuade people.

“If you are unsure of your writing abilities then several heads are better than one. Swap letters around for comment before you submit them.

“Local issues are essential. If you tackle national issues, put a local slant on it. Use a variety of letter writers local to the coverage.

“Facts are good. Submit Freedom of Information requests. Governments and council have to respond to them. We recently found out that the UK Government has saved £500 million in pension costs as a result of coronavirus deaths.

“We used that to hit our local Tory MPs with the fact that the UK pensions are the lowest in the developed world.

“Photos are good. One of our members smashing up a TV to protest against the abolition of free TV licences for over-75s went national.

“Give it a go – it’s too good a resource to ignore and if you are nervous editors will withhold your name and address on request.”