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Bacon backs BBC Radio Norfolk

SOUTH NORFOLK MP Richard Bacon has called on the BBC Trust to think again over plans which risk weakening the links between BBC Local Radio stations and the communities they serve.

Mr Bacon made the call in a letter to Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, regarding proposed changes to local radio services as part of the BBC’s ‘Delivering Quality First’ plans. 

The proposals suggest that local early morning, mid-afternoon and evening radio shows are replaced by regional or England-wide programmes.

Mr Bacon said: “According to RAJAR, BBC Radio Norfolk is the most popular station in this county after Radio 2 and the fifth most popular BBC Local radio station in England.  However, the BBC is proposing changes to its local radio stations, including replacing some Norfolk shows with regional or England-wide programmes.  

“I am concerned that these plans fail to appreciate that people listen to local radio because they want to hear about the places they live from people who live in them too.   Listeners to BBC Radio Norfolk don’t tune in to hear about Nottingham, Northampton or Newcastle, and I’m sure the reverse is also true.    

“The BBC’s proposals risk putting the link between Radio Norfolk and its listeners in jeopardy.  If BBC Radio Norfolk stops talking to Norfolk about Norfolk, then it may struggle to keep its loyal listeners.   I have written to Lord Patten outlining the risk that these proposals will undermine a real community asset”. 

The BBC Trust, the body which oversees the BBC, is consulting on these proposals until 21 December 2011.  Listeners can respond by going to the BBC Trust website and clicking on ‘Tell Us What You Think’.

14 December 2011

See also:
WEBSITE: Service review of BBC Local Radio