Tom praises BBC chairman’s decision to “reprieve” local TV and radio cuts

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (January 25th) welcomed the news that BBC Chairman, Lord Patten, had ordered BBC managers to ‘pull back’ from deep cuts to BBC Local Radio and the axing of regional TV news and programmes like the ‘Inside Out’ news magazine.

Tom said “The news that cuts were – in the wake of government funding reductions – going to affect local stations like BBC Radio Tees, were of great concern to me and fellow local MPs. People need radio stations like this to follow local news, weather and sports like BBC Tees live coverage of matches at Middlesbrough FC, Hartlepool and Darlington. In addition, stations like BBC Tees and other regional BBC stations act as an incubator for local talent in music and drama.”

“These stations are not minority hobbies. According to independent data, a big chunk of the population listen to BBC local radio, and they would have been deprived of a local lifeline if it were to be taken off air. They are part of the glue of local communities and were too valuable to lose”

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