At Southend News Network, we are incredibly disappointed to learn that The Echo’s publications across Essex have decided to impose a blanket ban on all coverage of our Christmas song Dartford Tolls. 

In spite of numerous exchanges between both myself, our singer Annie Humphrey and an employee at fellow Newsquest publication The Thurrock Gazette, they have decided not to put aside any existing hostilities in light of the festive season of goodwill to all mankind. 

Remember that all proceeds are split between Shelter and the British Heart Foundation, but screw the homeless and the sick when petty pride is at stake eh?

We are not going to name the employee responsible, but in a recent phone call they made it perfectly clear that mentioning who wrote Dartford Tolls would cause a problem. They even asked Annie if they could say that she wrote it as well – technically that would have been a lie! Naughty Newsquest, BAD …

We applaud their coverage of the Jo Cox track as it was recorded in Purfleet, but surely their readership would also be interested in a song about the Dartford Crossing as well as it affects tens of thousands of Essex people every day. 

Funnily enough, it would appear that other outlets of the Newsquest empire haven’t quite got the message yet. Newsshopper covers areas of Kent, and lo and behold they were more than happy to go into all of the details. Oh dear, oh dear. 

So what could we all do to try and put hinge right? We would encourage all of our readers to contact them in a responsible manner (because we don’t want to get in the sh*t on this one) and let them know that a festive tune that is relevant to their regional area of coverage is in the charts. 

On the other hand, if they continue to ignore what we feel is an excellent project that has already been mentioned on the BBC and ITV, then we’ll cross that bridge when it comes to it. 

Find out more and download or stream your copy of DARTFORD TOLLS, take a look here.