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Farron: 'Saving BBC4 and BBC radio cumbria is vital to protecting the unique BBC brand'

August 25, 2011 11:07 AM

Tim on his annual summer tourLocal MP Tim Farron has today said that 'protecting services like BBC Radio Cumbria and BBC4 is vital - defending the unique public service ethos and quality of programming on the BBC is really important to communities like ours in Cumbria '.

Both BBC4 and BBC RadioCumbria's service is under threat because of proposed cutbacks. Tim is also leading the campaign to save BBC RadioCumbria.

The proposals are part of BBC director general Mark Thompson's Delivering Quality First (DQF) initiative to deliver fewer, bigger and better programmes while slashing the BBC's overall budget.

The BBC aims to save £700m, or 20% of its budget, despite its recent awards success with hits such as the Danish crime drama The Killing, another Bafta winner.

However, for all the critical and media acclaim, BBC4 has less than a 1% share of the television audience while spending £55m a year. BBC management is keen to beef up BBC2, which suffered the biggest drop in audience share of the five main channels in 2010. As a result, programmes that would have gone to BBC4 and elsewhere will now be shown first on BBC2.

BBC RadioCumbria has a unique role in providing news and information county-wide and has been an extremely important source of information for Cumbrians during times of crisis such as the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak, the 2007 Grayrigg tragedy and 2009 Cumbrian floods

Tim recently wrote to the Chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten and asked local residents to email the of BBC director general Mark Thompson asking him to save BBC Radio Cumbria.

Tim said: "BBC Radio Cumbria is an absolute pillar of everyday life in Cumbria. We rely on it for news, comment, entertainment and up to date information about weather, events and travel in Cumbria. I hope that local residents will join with me and help campaign to save BBC Radio Cumbria. We learnt that from the BBC 6Music campaign that BBC chiefs can be won over, so together let's make that happen!"