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City of York Council supports plans to reconsider BBC cuts

digital radio

9:55am 1st February 2012

City of York Council has welcomed the news that the BBC is reconsidering plans to make cuts to local radio.

The council joined forces with a range of key organisations in the city to protest against the BBC’s proposed cuts to local radio funding, and in particular to BBC Radio York in December.

Forty English radio stations were facing cuts of £15m and 280 jobs as part of plans to slash 20 per cent from the BBC's budget over five years.

Following representations from thousands of listeners, MPs and local authorities, including City of York Council, the BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has ordered the corporation to re-examine its plans to make cuts to local radio saying it would have a "disproportionate impact" on the BBC's output and reputation.

Lord Patten said the trust had asked the BBC to review three key areas;

  • To scale back plans for local radio to share programmes in the afternoon.
  • To ensure that local stations have "an adequately staffed newsroom".
  • To protect specialist content outside peak times - for example local sports or specialist music shows.

Labour leader of City of York Council, Councillor James Alexander, and chief executive Kersten England, were amongst thousands of those who sent responses to the Trust’s consultation.

The response was signed jointly by 13 other organisations across the city, representing leisure and culture, higher education, the voluntary sector, and the emergency and health services.

Councillor Alexander, said:

“We wanted to send a strong message to the BBC that the City of York supported its local BBC station and was very concerned about the proposed major reductions in funding. I’m delighted that so many other organisations were happy to sign up to reinforce that message and that York’s voice, along with that of other regions across the country, appears to have been heard.”

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