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Act now to support BBC Radio Cumbria

The BBC Trust is consulting on proposals to reduce the resources for BBC local radio, which would have a significant impact on Radio Cumbria.

If the proposals were implemented, BBC Radio Cumbria would see a cut of 20 per cent of its annual budget.

About nine jobs could go, roughly one third of the current workforce. All local evening programming would also be lost and local programmes would only be broadcast from 6am to 7pm.

The consultation is part of wider cost-savings exercises taking place across the BBC. Radio Cumbria is being asked to save around 20 per cent of its annual budget, whereas many other local radio stations are being asked to save only 12 per cent.

Julie Clayton, the NUJ rep for BBC Radio Cumbria has outlined the following issues with the proposals:

  • Cumbria is the county furthest from the BBC's hub in London. It is essential that BBC licence fee payers in Cumbria have a meaningful point of contact with the BBC in the heart of their community.
  • BBC Radio Cumbria is the only media outlet that covers the whole of the county.
  • Not all radio stations are being asked to save the 20 per cent being imposed on BBC Radio Cumbria.
  • BBC Radio Cumbria was first on scene for Lockerbie, Grayrigg, Derrick Bird, the floods, and the Keswick bus crash. The team ensures the BBC nationally knows what’s happening when big stories break here in Cumbria, and flags up other major news stories for the national audience – such as the breast cancer scandal in Carlisle.
  • BBC Radio Cumbria's ability to respond to large-scale news events would be severely affected by a reduction in staff numbers and it is unclear if it would be able to stay on air through the night for the audience. It will also be impossible to offer the support to the community it has shown in times of crisis such as Foot and Mouth or the floods.
  • BBC Radio Cumbria is the most listened to local radio station in the whole country and has won numerous national awards.

Read the full briefing from Julie Clayton

Read a Guardian article praising the benefits BBC Radio Cumbria has bought to the county

The details of the consultation can be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/index.shtml

To respond to the consultation by 21 December 2011 visit the website above. You can also email your comments to local.radio.review@bbc.co.uk or send them by post to: Local Radio Review, BBC Trust, 180 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5QZ.

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