The management of the bbc have decided to slash budgets under the banner of ‘Delivering Quality First’ due to the coalition freezing the licence fee for the term of this parliament which is in effect a cut in real terms due to inflation.
The saddest proposed cuts are the ones that will decimate bbc Local radio services across the UK but especially here in London. The editor of bbc radio London 94.9 fm is a chap called David Robey & although I don’t know him personally I’ve always been amazed at the content he’s managed to fit in to London’s 24/7 licence fee funded radio station. The station hosts shows of general interest but also ensures minority communities get their say & the station has always allowed myself & colleagues from the London taxi trade to air our views, opinions & I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of grievances with TFL & the Mayor of London.
If these proposals go ahead the station will lose the overnight show presently hosted by Nikki Beddi who took over after the death of ‘BiG George Webley’ (Have I Got News For You theme tune composer). Nikki has brought a new perspective to overnight radio with intelligence, laughter & another culture (Indian), she’s filled the void left by my friend George remarkably well.
George was a friend but also a mentor to me & at his vigil I told those present that the bbc would have a battle on its hands if they sought to destroy local radio. Well the bbc they have decided to threaten shows/slots like Robert Elms, Danny Baker, nearly all the sports coverage & the late show which Joanne Good presents. Tune in & you’ll hear new bands/young energetic talent & the UK’s only radio show dedicated to dog’s on Thursday evenings.
I’m saddened that the management of the corporation can’t hear the voices of people who rely on radio, people who are elderly, infirm & those of us who are working late at night in taxi-cabs, hospitals, emergency services or simply stacking shelves.
So next Friday at 6pm on the 28th of October 2011 some of us will return to Portland Place outside Broadcasting House & demonstrate our disgust at a budget cut of 25% they will destroy bbc Radio London 94.9 fm.
If you can attend please do & bring a torch & wrap up warm. We have a blog www.savebbclondon949.blogspot.com or join the facebook community Save BBC Radio London & tweet @savelocalradio you can help by contacting the bbc trust and asking them to reverse this sad decision at www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust you have a few more weeks to get involved in the consultation.
The bbc has an annual revenue stream of nearly £5 billions are the management so celebrity obsessed that they can’t protect the crown that holds the Jewels which is bbc radio broadcasting.