To Chris Patten, Chair of The BBC Trust and Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC,
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 to peak time broadcasts. During the afternoon the stations will amalgamate with other stations. Between 7pm and 10pm there will be national programming shared by every station.
This is devastating news for anyone who values their BBC Local radio station for what it is and what it should be.If these proposals are implemented BBC local radio will be damaged beyond repair and once diluted and destroyed it will be almost impossible to reclaim. BBC local radio has always been at the bottom of the foodchain and is almost underfunded.It does not deserve to become a victim of this attempt to economise.
BBC local radio must be shown respect by those who manage it, they are after all only temporary custodians of it. Their value is to react to the days news both national and local and provide the opportunity for listeners to have their say to local MPs and representatives of councils etc as they are put on air, BBC local radio is very interactive in its 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.
We also recognise the value of sports coverage on our local stations.
BBC local radio is part of our democracy at a grass roots level and to damage it will be to damage our democracy.
We the undersigned, value BBC Local Radio and hope that you continue to respect it and protect it as a valuable part of Our BBC. The role of the BBC at a local level is to provide a public service and if it is reduced to a limited service and networked it will be very damaging and will would more than likely spell the end of its life as a broadcasting medium. We come from across the country, including our capital,but are united in support of BBC local radio.
(The petition organisers would also welcome any small comment in support of BBC LR next to your name)
This petition was edited by its author on 11 October 2011 to reflect the new proposals introduced as Delivering Quality First.
Please also take part in the BBC Trust's consultation .