Call for BBC to do more to support Wales’ community radio stations

A person listening to the car radio. Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The BBC should do more to support Wales’ network of community radio stations, a National Assembly for Wales Committee has said.

A closer relationship between community radio and the BBC and commercial radio stations would allow them to share knowledge, resources and help with talent development, according to a report from the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee.

Community radio was introduced following legislation, in order to introduce a new tier of radio broadcasting in the UK, focused specifically on community engagement.

There are currently eleven community radio stations in Wales. Ten stations, Calon FM, Tudno FM, BRfm, Radio Tircoed, Radio Glan Clwyd, Môn FM, Radio Cardiff, Rhondda Radio, Bro Radio and GTFM are already on air with Radio Aber aiming to start broadcasting soon.

The Committee’s short report into community radio in Wales contains a total of eight recommendations, including:

  • That the Welsh Government should fund a community radio body for Wales to offer practical support to stations, such as marketing or grant writing.
  • That the body should also help forge links between community stations and commercial and BBC radio, to help volunteers gain experience and develop skills across Wales.
  • That community radio is given access to the output of the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service and are given first refusal with a preferential rate when the BBC sell off equipment they no longer need.

 

‘Help’

Bethan Sayed AM, Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, said that radio stations must be given opportunities to share knowledge and help each other.

“During our work into community radio stations in Wales, we discovered the wide range of benefits that these stations provide the communities they serve, as a community link and hyperlocal news provide,” she said.

“They also provide a route for people to gain valuable training and experience in radio, whether they are interested in a career or just want to learn new skills and meet new people.

“A Community Radio Body, funded by the Welsh Government, would co-ordinate this network and provide much needed practical support for both on-air and non-studio roles.

“We also believe that the sector would benefit greatly from closer co-operation with the BBC and commercial radio stations and sharing access to the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service would enable them to cover their local authority proceedings as part of a valuable hyperlocal service.”

The report will now be considered by the Welsh Government.

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Ben Angwin
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Ben Angwin

Cymraeg should be heard on Anglophone Welsh radio stations.

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

that comment will bring a lot of people out in a nasty rash !

MawKernewek
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It all sounds a great idea to resource community radio better, but not if the price is their independence, making them just outsourced arms of the BBC, or at the least beholden to it.
Surely if Plaid Cymru wants Wales to be independent, it needs to be planning for Wales to wean itself off the BBC, not embedding its dominance further?

Jonesy
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Jonesy

The Bbc in Wales – because that what it is ( BBC wales/Cymru, finished with the current controller( or whatever they call them these days – branch manager more like) makes little effort to reflect Wales in its own broadcasting – programmes are usually naff , fixated with people with nail extension s from the valleys, rugby and Gareth Edwards (waw really pulling in the younger viewers there) titled with Welsh – or Wales’ just in case the viewers forget where they are, do not provide us with comprehensive current affairs or political programmes, a totally undermined radio news service,… Read more »