Southampton mayor Ivan White is a man who knows the true importance of his local newspaper.

“Good luck to the Echo because you’ve been fantastic in my year,” he said.

Councillor White is reaching the end of his mayoral year and is grateful for the support of his local newspaper.

To mark Local Newspaper Week, which this year has the theme of Making a Difference, we are taking a look back at how this newspaper has helped to make the community a better place.

For any mayor having a newspaper around is the perfect chance to promote the good causes that he or she is raising money for.

And as Southampton’s First Citizen for 2013 to 2014, Cllr White has seen the Daily Echo help to promote the events in aid of his chosen charity, Southampton Women’s Aid.

He said: “I have a great deal of respect for the Echo. You have been really supportive over the last year. It has promoted the Mayor’s Ball and the mayor’s charities.”

Cllr White also feels local newspapers are “very important” in helping to raise the profile of the community. This year sees Southampton celebrate 50 years of becoming a city, and Cllr White says that by praising that the paper does a lot to make people feel better about the city.

He added: “The Echo has probably done more to promote the 50 years of the city’s status than we have done as a city. We are sometimes a little negative but I think we live in a fantastic city.”

But for Cllr White having a local newspaper also means people can keep abreast of issues of importance to them.

He said: “Not only am I the mayor but I‘m a local politician too. It’s important to pick up on stories or issues that you are perhaps only partially aware of or not aware of at all. One of the pages I head to avidly is the letters page..

“When I was living abroad I would subscribe to the paper. It is a way of keeping up with what’s going on back home.”