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BBC Local Radio defended

The future of BBC Local Radio was the topic of debate in a Westminster forum yesterday.

MPs from around the country defended their local radio stations by explaining how popular and important the local content is, saying the BBC should be looking to make cuts from other areas such as overnight television and BBC 3.

Conservative MP Therese Coffey, who has previously led an early day motion to support BBC local radio which received 66 MP signatures, said instead of cutting local radio, the BBC should look to make the necessary 20 per cent savings from other departments.

Elmet and Rothwell Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke said: “I wonder whether the BBC has lost the plot and completely forgotten that it is a public sector broadcaster.”

And Angela Smith, Labour MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said: “The move to replace all local radio stations with national Radio 5 Live for most of the day would be a retrograde step that people throughout the country will resist.”

The debate comes after speculation that the BBC are looking at replacing the out of BBC Local Radio with 5 Live in off-peak hours.

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