Caroline Dinenage criticises BBC over radio cuts saying it will have ‘significant impact’ on the elderly
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Conservative MP and Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Dame Caroline Dinenage, has criticised the BBC over proposed radio cuts, saying it will have ‘significant impact’ on the elderly and the vulnerable, who may be less able to use digital alternatives to receive their local, trusted news sources.
The proposed cuts would have an impact on local radio services, reducing the number of broadcasts - most noticeably in the evenings and weekends, cutting off vital news sources for many.
Cuts were initially announced last year, with the BBC explaining it wants to prioritise digital content. National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members held strikes this year after rejecting revised plans on cuts to local radio.
Speaking in DCMS Questions, the MP for Gosport said: “Local radio is such a lifeline to many of the elderly, vulnerable and isolated people in our communities. I wonder what the Minister’s view is as to what the public service in the BBC’s public service remit actually means.
“Shouldn’t it include reaching everyone with local news and information, and not just those who are digitally enabled?”
The Minister for Media, Tourism & Creative Industries, Sir John Whittingdale said: "Many people still value local radio and will regret and be very concerned about the reduction in output of local radio that the BBC proposed, particularly in evenings and weekends.”