38 community radio stations found in breach

Thirty-eight community radio stations have been found in breach by Ofcom for the non delivery or under-delivery of Key Commitments.

However, 15 of the stations which were originally under investigation for their 2013 annual report have been found to be operating correctly.

As a result, the radio regulator has been considering whether requiring community radio stations to comply with a relatively high number of very detailed Key Commitments is a pragmatic or proportionate way for them to regulate the community radio sector.

“Our initial view is that a more streamlined and targeted approach may be more appropriate. We intend to consider this further during 2015 and will update the radio sector in due course,” Ofcom said today.

A number of community radio stations have been highlighted out of the 38, for not providing a service in accordance with their Key Commitments. You can read full reports about the breaches for these station; Cross Rhythms Teesside, Castledown Radio Tidworth and Halton Community Radio, in the latest Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin.

In response, the Community Media Association says it appears that most of Ofcom’s investigations were concerned with technical or low offending compliance issues in the reporting.

Bill Best, Operations Manager of the Community Media Association (CMA) advises: “The CMA was aware from the outset that a number of community radio stations appeared to have had difficulty with Ofcom’s key commitments self-reporting system and that some stations could not meet key commitments that either had been too rigidly drawn up or were no longer relevant to the stations’ operations. The CMA and Ofcom are here to help all community radio stations with regulatory compliance and we urge all stations to get in touch with us for assistance if required. The CMA applauds Ofcom’s decision to take no further action with all but three community radio stations that have been found to be in breach. The CMA understands that Ofcom is considering a more streamlined and targeted approach to the reporting process that is expected to be a more appropriate system going forward and we welcome all improvements in this area”.

Dom Chambers, Chair of the Community Media Association and station manager of Somer Valley FM said: “This has been an uncomfortable episode and one that I feel has attracted unnecessary negative publicity for community radio at a time when we are trying to meet significant funding challenges. We must all make sure nothing like the scale of these investigations happens again. The CMA will continue to work with Ofcom and DCMS to ensure compliance monitoring is a more straight forward process. After all we must remember that so much work in our sector is reliant on the good will of volunteers. Maintaining morale is key to what community broadcasting achieves as a positive social force”.

The full list of stations in breach are:

  • Ummah FM, Reading
  • New Style Radio, Birmingham
  • Awaz FM, Glasgow
  • BCB Radio, Bradford
  • BFBS Aldershot
  • BFBS Catterick
  • BFBS Edinburgh
  • BFBS Sailsbury
  • Big City Radio, Aston
  • BRFM, Sheerness
  • Castledown Radio, Tidworth
  • CSR, Canterbury
  • Corby FM
  • Cross Rhythms Teesside
  • Down FM, Downpatrick
  • Drive 105, Derry/Londonderry
  • Glastonbury FM
  • HCR, Huntingdon
  • Ipswich Community Radio
  • Kane FM, Guildford
  • Lionheart Radio, Alnwick
  • Lisburn City Radio
  • Tudno FM, Llandudno
  • Radio Asian Fever, Leeds
  • Radio Faza, Nottingham
  • Radio Ikhlas, Derby
  • 106.9 SFM, Sittingbourne
  • Speysound, Badenoch and Strathsprey
  • Sunny Govan Radio
  • Tulip Radio, Spalding
  • Uckfield FM
  • Ujima Radio, Bristol
  • Radio Verulam, St Albans
  • Vibe 107.6, Watford
  • Voice of Africa, Newham
  • West Hull Community Radio
Posted on Monday, June 29th, 2015 at 11:22 am by RadioToday

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