Local Radio Stations

Oral Answers to Questions — Posts and Telecommunications – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th July 1970.

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Photo of Mr Edward Milne Mr Edward Milne , Blyth 12:00 am, 6th July 1970

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications if he will make a statement on the proposals for the setting up of Radio Newcastle.

Photo of Mr Kevin McNamara Mr Kevin McNamara , Kingston upon Hull North

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications whether he will make a statement on the future of the British Broadcasting Corporation's Radio Humberside.

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Chichester

I am considering the future of the B.B.C.'s plans for local radio, and I will make a statement as soon as I have come to a decision.

Photo of Mr Edward Milne Mr Edward Milne , Blyth

In congratulating the right hon. Gentleman on his appointment, may I ask him to make sure that one of his first acts is to see that there is no surrender to vested interests in this matter? Will he ensure that the plans, which are already well advanced, for the setting up of Radio Newcastle are not disturbed and that we get this radio station at the earliest possible moment?

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Chichester

There will be no surrender to vested interests, whether public or private. [Interruption.] I appreciate that there is urgency, too, in the review of the B.B.C.'s local radio stations, and I have embarked on discussions with Lord Hill.

Photo of Mr Kevin McNamara Mr Kevin McNamara , Kingston upon Hull North

May we be informed when we shall receive a definite statement on the future of Radio Humberside? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that plans for this station are well advanced in my constituency—that the buildings are there and the machinery is going in—and that there will be great disappointment if this station is not established soon, particularly as we were expecting it to be active by the end of the year?

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Chichester

It is important that we examine the B.B.C.'s priorities. A statement will be made when that has been done.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

I, too, congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on his appointment and on the fact that the Ministry is surviving. Is he aware that it will be severely regretted if one of his first acts is to cut back on the B.B.C.'s development of genuine local community radio, which has already been a substantial success? In talking about considering the future of B.B.C. radio, will he confirm the future of the stations which have already been announced and say whether these active plans are in process of being implemented?

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Chichester

I will bear in mind the points which the right hon. Gentleman makes.