A COMMUNITY newspaper, which has been in print for 23 years, will appear for the final time in December.

The St Asaph City and District City Times is ceasing publication after editor Denise Hodgkinson, a former Journal reporter, decided to retire from the role.

The Times team made appeals to the community for someone to take over the running of the paper but without success.

Denise, who also represents the west ward on St Asaph City Council, said: “I’d already been in journalism for 30 years – since I was 15 – before being buttonholed when I retired to help start the paper in 1994.

“We’ve been the victims of our own success and it has become a full-time job.

“It’s taken over my life and my house, but I have very mixed feelings about it.

“It’s such a shame to stop the paper after building it up over 23 years. I do feel a little bit guilty, but at 78 [years of age], I need some time for myself.”

The paper is published every eight weeks by the same three people – Denise, chairman Andy Thomas and his wife, Sue, who looks after the advertising – and circulated to every house and business in St Asaph, as well as outlying districts including Waen, Rhuallt, Tremeirchion and Cefn.

The paper has covered many important events in the city and after the devastating floods of 2012, it even published an extra edition to keep residents informed.

Denise said: “Our readers have been brilliant. We had a massive amount of emails. They completely understand and appreciate what we’ve put in over the years.”

As a result of all her work, Denise – who has also twice served as mayor for the city – was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2013 New Year Honours List.

She said: “I really want to thank the brilliant team and committee – Margaret Corlett, Alwyn Evans, Mary Owen, Austin Savage, Ken Hodgkinson and Richard Thomas – we’ve had for all these years, who go out whatever the weather.

”Without them, we would never have been able to put the paper out.”