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I rise to present a petition from radio listeners throughout Merseyside. The petition was collected online and on the streets of Liverpool. I am sure that many more people would have liked to have signed it, but time is of the essence, which is why I am submitting it today. Nevertheless, there are in the region of 2,000 signatories to the petition, along with many testimonials.
The petition states:
The Petition of listeners to BBC Radio Merseyside,
Declares that the Petitioners oppose the 20% cut to BBC Radio Merseyside’s budget proposed by the BBC management; that the Petitioners note that BBC Radio Merseyside is the most listened to of the BBC’s 39 local radio stations outside of London with over 300,000 listeners who tune in for an average of 16.2 hours per week to popular programmes such as the Roger Phillips Show and the Billy Butler Show; further note that there are more staff at Radio 4 who work on the You and Yours programme than the whole of the current team of BBC Radio Merseyside; and that the Petitioners believe any efficiency savings should be fairly distributed, protecting local services and jobs where possible, in order to guarantee quality of programming which remains locally relevant and to preserve a service that is depended on by millions of listeners up and down the country, rather than maintaining the budgets of bigger channels and national radio stations.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage the BBC to reconsider its cuts to BBC local radio.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.