What a year this has been from losing a much loved radio host, musician & friend to the announcement that the Director General of the bbc & its board of management wish to impose cuts upon local radio that will not only drastically alter service level agreements but destroy bbc local radio.
However within no time of the announcement of the 'Delivering Quality First' (DQF) programme listeners to bbc local radio from Cornwall via London to Aberdeen were organising via facebook/twitter & good old local radio !
The consultation has ended & the season of goodwill is upon us all so I ask of Mark Thomson & David Holdsworth, whilst you celebrate Christmas & New Year please spare a thought for the elderly, the infirm, the emergency services, the taxi-cab drivers, the down trodden, the lonely & the ordinary hard working people who don't just listen to local radio but care about their communities. Think of the licence fee payer & remember you/your colleagues at the top of the corporation have done pretty well out of us ordinary folk doing the 'normal' sometimes mundane boring jobs that most people take for granted. Please Mark & David if it's within your power 'ring fence' bbc local radio & harness the energy, the enthusiasm & even love that so many 'local' people have for bbc local radio. End the uncertainty for the staff affected & deliver Christmas joy to families/friends & communities throughout the nation.
That's the begging part over now let us deal with the Trust. Lord Christopher Patten is a decent hard working chap who chairs the bbc trust. The Trust will decide in Jan/Feb 2012 the fate of bbc local radio. I like you place my trust in Lord Patten, I believe he along with fellow trustees understand that local radio is not only cherished but loved dearly by you the listener. I firmly believe we have made the case for local radio and won the argument with bbc senior management. Money can be saved at the corporation, from car allowances, better project management & reductions in car/bus services whilst protecting front line programming & staff at bbc local radio.
At bbc London 94.9fm we are in danger of losing Robert Elms, Danny Baker, the majority of the Sports team, Jo Good & Nikki Bedi. Please note Lord Patten there is very little informative, entertaining, educational, inclusive radio in the commercial sector even here in London.
If the worst happens & the Trust sides with bbc management we must be prepared to mount a political lobbying campaign like no other.
I have a Plan B 'IN' In Preparation which will involve all our elected politicians & national/regional/local demonstrations, we must hope for the best & prepare for the worse. Remember our battle cry & shout it out loud & clear when you call/text/tweet/facebook/email your local bbc radio station,
'IN PATTEN WE TRUST' for now...
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you all...
PS can I personally thank the bbc radio forum & www.savelocalradio.co.uk