Saturday, 26 March 2011

BBC Local Radio

The BBC have got to save £400 million due to funding cuts and are apparently looking to take the axe to most of the local radio output and replace it with 5 Live coverage for the majority of the day. Apparently as only 7.4 million people listen to local radio its an easy thing to cut.

Now I have to admit to only being a recent convert to BBC local radio following my appearance on BBC Radio Cumbria. In my late 20s and early 30s my car and home radios were almost always tuned to 5 Live as I enjoyed the mix of news and sport. Then I wanted to have some music so combined Radio 2 and local commercial radio with BBC local radio when my car picked it up on long car journeys.

When I moved to Cumbria in August 2010 I found that Radio 2 doesn't have a very good signal so re-tuned the car to a local commercial station. My home DAB radios were still stuck on Radio 2. Then I was called by BBC Radio Cumbria and re-tuned both car and home radios to listen in.

Since then I have come to really enjoy the mix of music, local news and everything else that comes with BBC Radio Cumbria. When I am home alone I have the kitchen radio on with the channel keeping me company. I don't want to listen to just talk, talk, talk like you get on 5 Live. The music and local information really keeps me listening. It is also the only place we get to hear about the local sports clubs such as Kendal Town FC.

If the BBC axe everything but breakfast and drive time shows produced locally with 5 Live coverage then they will be losing me as a regular listener. In counties like Cumbria we are so different from a lot of the country and we want to have shows that our about us and not London biased.

So vote with your radio dial and let the BBC know that local radio shouldn't be cut but is a vital service especially to areas far away from London!


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you Becky.

    I am a big advocate of community radio and the BBC does it better than anyone.

    It's not just in rural areas like Cumbria where it makes a difference. There are so many areas of the country that have a local identity that needs to be served. If anything, i feel that BBC local should be extended by giving more regional options where they are currently unavailable (like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for a start).

    I think that BBC local comes into it's own when emerging local stories are being reported, such as the floods in various parts of the country or the Cumbrian gunman in your area.

    Radio is about so much more than music. It needs to be part of the community to work at its best.

  2. Thanks for this post Becky!

    Everything you say is so true. I've got my local BBC Bristol on right now and it's been on more or less since 7:20 this morning.

    As well as all the arguments you put across, I update local parents on what's going on in our area and I find this radio station a wealth of information.

    We need and we want to keep our local radio stations, just as they are


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