Keep BBC Local Radio Local: 55 years old

8 November marks BBC Local Radio’s 55th Birthday and should be celebrated.  However last month the BBC announced that they would be cutting 139 jobs from local radio.

This is a disappointing decision as local radio is a vital part of local communities. BBC West Midlands is listened to by people from across Walsall South.

I previously raised my concerns with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at an Urgent Question commending local radio for their interviews with the then Prime Minister Liz Truss. I have signed an Early Day Motion which states:

“That this House condemns the proposed cuts to BBC local radio programming which will see programming shared between regions after 2pm and on weekends; applauds the role of BBC local radio stations in democratic accountability, combating isolation and responding to crises such as covid-19 and local emergencies; questions for what reason the BBC’s digital first strategy is at the expense of a vital part of local media infrastructure; notes with concern that staff whose jobs are at risk found out about the plans through the media; stands with members of the National Union of Journalists resisting the planned cuts; and urges the BBC to consult local radio listeners and licence fee payers before making permanent changes.”

Local Radio is a vital link to local communities a vital training ground and must be protected.