North Devon urged to have its say on local radio

Campaigners fear new proposals could mean local radio “lost forever”

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on the people of North Devon to have their say over an application they say could mean the loss of local radio in the area forever.

OFCOM is currently consulting over an application to extend the South Devon DAB digital radio service to North Devon and Torridge. If this goes ahead opponents say 30 per cent of those who listen to local commercial radio or BBC Radio Devon will no longer be able to when FM transmitters are switched off.

Paul Crockett from Barnstaple’s The Voice FM made a presentation to the executive committee of North Devon Council at its meeting on Tuesday of last week.

He said under OFCOM’s current plans, North Devon could be denied the opportunity to re-establish a genuinely local FM radio service in the future if the present FM licence was not re-advertised.

Members unanimously agreed a local radio station was vital for the community and economy of North Devon and to help lobby OFCOM about the importance of this issue.

Campaigners have called on people in North Devon to log on to http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/dab-north-devon and follow the links to register their concerns. Or email local@thevoicefm.co.uk or write to Exeter and Torbay Consultation, FAO Andrea Jackson, OFCOM, Riverside House, 2A Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA.

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* THE North Devon Festival will be in your home and in your car with the launch of new radio station Festival FM to promote the region’s top cultural event throughout June.

The Voice has teamed up with festival organisers to create the new station, which will be broadcast around Barnstaple on 107.1 FM until June 28.

It will be broadcasting up to 22 hours live on weekdays from the studios on the Square in Barnstaple with a slightly reduced live service at weekends.

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