Opened on March 24, 2011
To Chris Patten, chair of The BBC Trust and Tony Hall , Director General of
The BBC is funded by the public and must have the integrity and
responsibility to that public to manage public funds with honesty and moral
judgment and deliver public service broadcasting to the highest standard.
It has failed.
On Thursday 6 October 2011 Mark Thompson unveiled a number of proposals to
cut spending at the corporation to respond to freezing of the licence
fee.One of these proposals is to reduce programming on BBC Local
radio.Although scaled back after public protest we have been told that £8 m
savings will have to be made. As a consequence we have seen local stations
cut back to the bone, often struggling to provide the service that is
needed. There is now a national show operating at peak time evenings in
order to save money. This show has recently recorded the lowest ever
listening figures ever recorded in that time slot. BBC London no longer
operates an overnight service in our capital. Weekend broadcasting has been
reduced to pre recorded shows in many areas and those covering sport are
unable to provide split programming to cater for it's audience.
This is now unacceptable. Mark Thompson and others who authorised these cuts
stating that they had to be made, were in fact abusing their positions of
power and can no longer engender public trust. The amount of severance
payments made during the period that BBC local radio was being cut totals
£25 m . This is a huge amount of public money. And it must be noted
that also during this period the BBC lost £100 m in the failed and badly
monitored Digital Media Initiative.
There has been no protection of public money.
BBC local radio must be shown respect by those who manage it, they are after
all only temporary custodians of it. The value of BBC local radio is to
react to the days news ,both national and local ,and provide the opportunity
for listeners to voice their opinions and have their say to local MPs and
representatives ofcouncils etc as they are put on air, BBC local radio is very interactive in
it's nature and many listeners rely upon it as a point of social contact. It is also an
invaluable source of local information and news.It also acts as a parish
notice board for communities and it gives considerable coverage to local
charities and voluntary groups. BBC Introducing is at the heart of BBC local
radio and gives a platform to local bands and musicians.
BBC local radio is an important part of our democracy and it has been
damaged by those who have abused their positions of power.
We the undersigned, value BBC Local Radio and hope that you will now
respect it and protect it as a valuable part of Our BBC. We request that a
proper BBC local radio service is restored and that the proposed £8m cuts
abandoned as a matter of urgency to restore public trust . We also insist
that a review of all the local stations is conducted to ensure that they
have the correct funding to operate a public service that the staff and
public deserve. This should be a transparent process and correctly monitored
on behalf of the public.
We come from across the country , including our capital but are united in
our determination to save BBC local radio from the damage inflicted upon it
by those who have shown a shocking disregard for the public that they were
charged to serve.
This petition has been reactivated by it's author on 24/8/2013 to reflect deeply held concern about cuts being applied to BBC local radio and the abuse of public funds by senior BBC management who have applied the cuts and the lack of governance and monitoring by the BBC Trust.
The last comment recorded as 3,495 is noted as part of the previous text.
Please consider this as a new campaign and your comments will be an important part of that campaign. For further information please contact the author or visit the BBC Radio Forum.