BBC Radio Suffolk fears ease
A COST-cutting proposal that threatened the future of BBC Radio Suffolk has been scrapped - at least for the time being.
Staff were told yesterday that a move to share daytime programming with BBC Radio Five Live is unlikely to go ahead, which is good news for fans of Suffolk presenters such as Lesley Dolphin and James Hazell.
But the EADT understands the unpopular proposal still hangs over the station as the corporation’s bosses battle to slash their budgets.
It is also believed the threat of more regional programming - sharing content with bordering counties - is still on the table.
There is already uproar among country and western fans over the axing of Brian Mann’s Sunday afternoon Suffolk Country programme, which is to be replaced by a syndicated regional show.
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Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, a staunch supporter of local radio, said she was told the development by a BBC staff member.
“I understand the specific item about Radio Five Live programming is off the agenda, it’s a small step in the right direction,” she said. “There could still be regionalisation, like sharing things with Radio Norfolk. I don’t know that to be true but there’s still a requirement to save money.
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“I have no reason to doubt that I have been misled on it but that does not mean that everything is safe and will remain as it is.
“But that’s one part of the battle won, now we need to win the rest.”
A BBC spokeswoman said: “No decisions have been made so it would be wrong to speculate. We have only just started a major BBC-wide consultation.
“It is only right that BBC staff have an opportunity to input ideas about shaping the BBC’s future. Inevitably this has led to speculation.
“We are not going to get drawn into a running commentary - no decisions have been taken and therefore these reports remain speculation but local, regional and national services are at the heart of what we do.
The Delivering Quality First sessions are designed to provoke discussion amongst staff about the way the BBC works and any decisions coming out of the process would be subject to approval by the BBC Trust.”