Trustee local news media titles such as The Argus are at the heart of local life.

Our reporters carry the power on your behalf, covering courts and council meetings so you know what’s happening in your area.

And we advocate for your interests through campaigns and appeals that deliver real results for local communities.

An important but less discussed part of our offering is public notices.

These are advertisements placed mainly by local authorities about things such as planning applications or changes to road rules in your area.

If a local bar wants to extend its opening hours, you will be notified through a public notice in the pages of your newspaper.

Sometimes public notices can be controversial and get everyone in the community talking about an issue that will affect their lives, such as plans for a major new development.

This is how it should be in a healthy democracy.

Two years ago, representatives of the local news media sector came together through the News Media Association to discuss how to increase advertising to the public.

Local journalism is reaching more people than ever before, currently 42 million people a month, but a significant portion of that audience is now online.

The challenge for the industry was to bring public service messaging into the 21st century by engaging local media’s large digital audience while ensuring that everyone could access them in their print local newspapers.

Today, we are pleased to present the result of this work, the Public Notice Portal (PNP), which will change the way readers interact with public notices.

The new portal was created after extensive consumer research, discussions with local authorities and central government.

The project also received technical expertise and funding of £1 million from Google.

Searchable by postcode and notification type, the portal uses maps to show you with high precision where the notifications that apply to you are located.

Users can subscribe to receive notifications of specific types of notifications or notifications related to a specific geography, providing a highly personalized service.

The portal is completely free to use and is part of your local media website, in addition to working as a standalone resource.

Although all major publishers within the NMA have signed up to the scheme, the portal is still in beta and has yet to be rolled out across the industry.

Instead, it is tested in key areas such as Brighton until fully launched.

We expect the portal will eventually provide comprehensive coverage of all public service announcements published in the UK across the industry’s 800 local news websites.

This will create an extremely powerful new resource that we can all tap into.

During the beta phase of the project, you have the opportunity to express your opinion about this transformative technology.

Visit the portal See what you think and then tell us about your experience.

The local media sector seeks to strengthen and expand local democracy in all possible ways.

We believe that the Community Notices Portal is a critical part of this mission and will provide a powerful boost to local communities across the UK.