All eight of the B.B.C.'s experimental stations are now broadcasting. Any plans for further stations must await the review of this experiment. I have received no further proposals from local authorities in Scotland.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that probably one of the reasons for the lack of enthusiasm for local radio is the fact that since the B.B.C. have become pop-punchers, traditional radio programmes have been adversely affected? Will he try to improve the service and thus encourage local authorities, especially in the central belt, to proceed with local radio stations?
I am not aware that the quality of B.B.C. programmes as a whole has deteriorated as a result of the experiment, but I will certainly look very kindly at my hon. Friend's suggestion when we review the experiment in about a year's time.
What representations have been received or what initiatives have been taken by which local authorities in Scotland? Does any initiative rest with my right hon. Friend to encourage them to set about this imaginative scheme?
I am not in a position to say which authorities have been in touch with us, but I will certainly take initiative next year if, in the light of the conclusions of this experimental run, we think that that will be a wise thing to do.