Editor’s comment: Hello, it’s really great to be here

Picture: Polly Hancock

Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Just before Christmas is a strange time to take over as editor at a newspaper – just before an election is, frankly, ridiculous.

After this edition has gone to press, the polls will open and the British people will once again have their say on the way forward.

What follows is anyone's guess, but no doubt the turbulence for the nation will not be over.

It has been striking that in both London and in Devon, from where I have just arrived, a great many people are thoroughly engaged with the political battleground.

There may be a narrative of being "tired of going to the polls" and, in some quarters, "just getting Brexit done" but at the same time the country is divided, and the reason it is divided is that people care about the issues.

I would suggest we don't need a quick decision or a strong leader, we need a good decision and a wise and well-intentioned leader.

For the past year I have been in Exeter, editing newspapers in the east and north of that county, and before that I was working on papers in Surrey.

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Both areas are very different from each other and from London, and it is vital that all communities join the "big conversation" (to pinch one of Tony Blair's less-successful public relations slogans).

Over the coming months, I look forward to hearing from you the readers about the issues that matter.

Get in touch with us via our letters pages or, if you have a story that needs telling, speak to our reporters.

In this age there is a mass of information and data publicly available, but the real stories only come out when real people speak up about what is happening around them.