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Author Topic:  The petition to save BBC Local Radio  (Read 43353 times)


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #90 on: August 24, 2013, 06:47:21 PM »
New Petition is now available, please sign and comment and circulate and use it however you wish.


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #91 on: August 24, 2013, 07:13:39 PM »
There seems to be a technical problem with facebook posting of the petition at the moment, it is showing the previous text. I am awaiting advice from the BUZZ team.


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #92 on: August 26, 2013, 11:17:16 AM »
This is to confirm that the BUZZ team have now resolved the Face book issue and posting will now show the new text.


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #93 on: August 26, 2013, 07:31:01 PM »
Thankyou to all those who have contributed to the petition and the comments are very valuable. Please do not stop, and pass on where you can . have just clipped a couple of entries to inspire.

"The Revd Gareth L Hill    I wrote the letter to the Radio Times that sparked a high number of correspondents condemning the loss of local voices because of the evening changes to BBC local radio programming. The Mark Forrest Show is very poor and needs to be ditched."

"Sarah Gayton   The key to local democracy is a fully funded local BBC radio with experienced journalists to ask the questions that matter. What dqf has done had dumbed down output broadcast and creatsame formate radio in stoke area - let the presenters do their job and give them the content to do their job"

All the comments are wonderful, but these are 2 campaigners that have never given up. Please join them. It just takes a letter or a conversation to make a difference.


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #94 on: August 26, 2013, 10:46:59 PM »
The petition comments continue and I am going to clip these.

" - Michelle Plum   Local radio is the heart and soul of its community and a vital part of our daily lives. People rely on it for focussed traffic news, news about local campaigns, and local news. Its demise would adversely affect anyone who relies upon it over television (the blind, those who cannot read etc"

"Patricia Ann Riggs  BBC local radio is a lifeline for those with mobility problems"

This local service must continue and have the respect it deserves for its listeners.


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #95 on: August 26, 2013, 11:52:22 PM »


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #96 on: August 28, 2013, 08:42:13 PM »
It is very good to see that the petition has attracted over a hundred new names and comments since it's relaunch. And the comments are very valuable. Can we get it over 4,000 in the next few days? I hope so.


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #97 on: August 29, 2013, 11:06:08 PM »
Ive just signed it.

Its got 3,618 Signatures and lets hope it gets many more.

Your doing a brilliant job T.


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #98 on: August 30, 2013, 11:25:18 AM »
Thankyou, Mel, yes, lets hope the petition continues to thrive and will make a statement to BBC managers.


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #99 on: September 11, 2013, 07:57:08 PM »
Austin Mitchell MP and member of the PAC, was inreceipt of the petition text and a letter on behalf of the Forum on Monday, but his intervention to include it ran out of time.

Here is copy of letter.

Dear Austin,

Thankyou very much for representing my concerns about cuts being applied to
BBC local radio services with Tony Hall.

I have activated a petition that reflects public concern . It also reflects
considerable public anger that while BBC local radio was being damaged, the
very BBC executive that were applying those cuts were in receipt of huge,
unjustified payoffs often contractually unjustified and certainly morally

This is the text of my petition

Save BBC local radio

     Collected: 3,660 Signatures.

"To Chris Patten, chair of The BBC Trust and Tony Hall , Director General of
the BBC,

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."

Dear Austin

Above is a link to the petition, as you can see from the many comments BBC
local radio is a vital service and there is real disgust from listeners who
depend upon it at the complete disregard of public money and public service
shown by ex DG Mark Thompson and Marcus Aguis, they must be forced to take
responsibility and aplogise to the public that they have let down. In that
way trust may be regained and the BBC that we deserve can be rebuilt under
it's new managers.

Therefore, I would request that this petition is treated as part of the PAC
hearing tomorrow and reference is made to it.

Thankyou, for your time and your help in representing the public, who do not
hold a position of privilege


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #100 on: September 11, 2013, 08:04:23 PM »
I am happy to report that some of this correspondance was covered on Vanessa Feltz show on Monday, but she also ran out of time!

Anyway, I am sure that some of those who do have time are those lolling about at the BBC Trust(have no idea what they have been doing for the last 7 years?)

So am going to make an early submission of the petition to Chris Patten(the petition will stay open) requesting action on behalf of the public to reflect the severe public anger about severance pay that has now put the future of the BBC in doubt.

Therefore, if you can rush around with the petition anywhere that would be good.

I will put covering letter on Forum for comment and inclusion before sending,




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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #101 on: September 11, 2013, 08:52:14 PM »
Ok here is my first draft of submission to the Trust. Please it is raw , so feel free to add your comments,


"Dear Mr Kroll,

I am approaching you on behalf of almost 4,000 licence fee payers.

The BBC Trust has been employed by the public to represent us. It has let us down. I will send you over 3 years of correspondance with the Trust that has demonstrated that. It has been completely unacceptable that the Trust authorised cuts to basic BBC services, ie BBC local radio and that has resulted in a diminishing service, with a loss of journalists and supporting staff, a loss of local evening broadcasts, the end of overnight service in London and damage to weekend provision.

This was authorised at a time when the executive were  abusing  the licence fee and awarding themselves huge payments and at the same time implementing cuts.

The Trust allowed that to happen.

There is no more patience left. I insist that this letter and the petition is put before Chris Patten and all the trustees as a matter of urgency and I insist that there is a detailed response regarding how it has happened that millions have been wasted and yet cuts of 8m were authorised by the Trust for BBC local radio.

You will be aware of my previous correspondance, and I would requst a correct justification, and no that would not be from John Hamer.

I would like a full answer regarding 3 key points.

1. What action are the Trustees making to recoup the incorrectly paid severances. And what legal action are they taking on behalf of the public to reinforce that.I request a full explanation if they are failing to do that.

2.A detailed explanation from the trustees , that justify cuts being made to BBC local radio. ie a full financial justification. with the inclusion of all audits at "to risk" that they made at the time and an open document that includes the audience research that they had that justified this.

3. An assurance that the petition that I have linked below will be treated with the respect that it deserves and is replied to with honesty and integrity.

The petition is here and please treat it as an early submission."

« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 08:56:59 PM by Tiger »


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #102 on: September 12, 2013, 05:01:29 PM »
Hi Tiger, yes this is a wise move, I think you have all important bases covered.  Is it worth reminding them of, in their own words, the overwhelming response they had to their own consultation? 

I will just mention that I thought we had an outstanding question with the Trust relating to the accountability of radio, do you remember that BBC exec who claimed that Feedback was the official accountability line?

Just a suggestion x


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Re: The petition to save BBC Local Radio
« Reply #103 on: September 12, 2013, 05:49:45 PM »
Thankyou Darcy, for your input.

I believe that this correspondance covers the accountability of the Trust, which you started with Ms Coyle and I picked up it was sent to Kroll and other unit Trust managers.

Dear Lord Patten, Trustees and management of the BBC Trust,

I represent many many concerned listeners to BBC local radio. We are also
licence fee payers and should expect the BBC Trust to respond with concern
and professionalism regarding cuts made to BBC local services. The Trust's
role is to safeguard the public and act with intelligence and integrity and
understand the very serious responsibility that it has to the public and
public broadcasting.

That trust is now in question.

This is an email that was sent to my co administrator on my forum, asking
the Trust to comment about cuts to BBC local radio. The reply was from the
vice chair of the Trust Dianne Coyle ,and it was at a time that the Forum at
its own expense was attempting to get information that should have been in
the public domain and we did eventually manage to get that information
because of pressure from MPs and other sources. It should have come from the
Trust. This is her reply to us at the time,

"I'm replying directly to you on behalf of my colleague John Hamer in the
Trust Unit.

Looking back through your correspondence, I see that you've been provided
with most of the specific information you requested, and been given the
reasons for not providing detail such as individual programme budgets.

We share your desire that the BBC serves local radio audiences well, and we
undertake research and extensive engagement including through our Audience
Councils. I consider that, given the amount of time my colleagues have
already spent on your requests, and the tone of your latest email, it is
inappropriate for them spend more time on this correspondence.

Of course, if you want to engage in the future in a constructive way, we'll
be happy to engage with you.

Diane Coyle"

We asked her to confirm her reply, she has never done so. Her reply is
unacceptable as you can see and further undermines any trust that the BBC
Trust could have in representing the public. .

I will now repeat the questions that need to be answered.

1. Why and with what justification has the BBC  Trust approved cuts to BBC
local radio.? The Trust were in receipt of many petitioners and
contributions to consultations which included many public figures which
stated in the strongest terms that there should be no cuts to BBC local
radio services and that any networking would represent severe damage to
public service broadcasting and something that would be impossible to
recover from. This is your down load so please do not send it to me,

Which trustees were involved in the decision to go ahead with cuts of 8m
and we request minutes of these meetings be made public.

2. I request from the BBC Trust a correct and proper collation of all
contact with the public that they have had regarding concern about cuts
being made to BBC local radio services, including the national networked
show The Mark Forrest Show , and the loss of overnight services in London
and the impact of cuts to staff around the stations. I know that the Trust
must have counted those, they would have been reckless not to. And that
request also includes overall figures in the public consultations and

That question, is particularly important. Because if an MP, for example is
to ask the BBC what the public reaction has been to networking on the
stations they will only be given the number of complaints made to a BBC
complaints line. That is not an honest reflection. I know that most people
actually wanted to take the issue up in an intelligent way with the Trust
and BBC management and never considered the green inky complaints line. This
is about a vital public service and not about the dress worn by a BBC

It is therefore very important that there is now an honest figure about
public opposition to cuts to BBC local radio.

You should collate your figures as soon as possible and pass them to Tony
Hall and David Holdsworth. If that is not possible I insist that you explain

My forum is about to launch a new campaign to reverse cuts made to BBC local
radio stations, which represent the grass roots of our democracy and . much
more besides. We would request that every attempt is made by the Trust to
claw back the shocking sums of money that have been paid to the BBC
executive , those who made the decisions to cut public services for their
own greed.

The Trust has governance and must now act with integrity. for the public
they are charged to serve, Patience is now running out and the Trust's
failure has been very damaging to the BBC and  it's future. That must be put
right through honesty and transparency

I apologise if my  words are strong, but I expect you to understand the
reasons and respond correctly.


Tamsin Vincent

BBC Radio Forum

The reply given was the stock response from John Hamer, as represented on the Forum.

I am not sure about your inclusion re online services?

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