A call is being made for a “public consultation” to be held before the Vale of Glamorgan Council decides whether yet more council-tax-payer’s money should be handed over to the Barry-based community radio station “Bro Radio”.
The Vale Council’s ruling cabinet is due to consider on Monday whether or not to renew the council’s so-called “Deed of Grant” to the radio station ,
Bro Radio can’t be heard in Penarth, nor in most of the Vale of Glamorgan, and can only be picked up in Barry: most council tax-payers who are stumping up for the radio station can’t receive it.
On Monday the Vale Council cabinet has to decide whether to renew the Deed of Grant to the station for a further 3-year period.
The Vale Council’s officers – who are often accused of coming up with daft money-wasting schemes which they “recommend” to councillors – are “recommending” that councillors should hand over another 3 year tranche the council-tax payer’s money “to assist in the trading of Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC and to facilitate the continued broadcasting of the community radio station and commensurate support of the Council’s communications strategies.” .
Outside the “group-think” of the council officers however, many voters are appalled that their money is to be used yet again to shore-up a radio station which should be standing on its own feet.
The grant would be for £72,000 – paid to the station in monthly installments. Bro Radio is actually run by a private company called the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting Community Interest Company and is controlled by 3 directors.
A PDN commentator called “Disappointed Listener” says “Looks like they are trying to gain more tax payers money from the council. As it’s our money, surely we the public should be consulted” . [In fact the new 3 year grant – if authorised- would be for the same amount as paid during the Labour Vale administration – but there are now even greater financial pressures on the Vale Council]
Vale councillors have been told that “The council receives regular reports detailing the work undertaken by Bro Radio on behalf of the council and the partnership between the two organisations continues to develop”. [ PDN Note: These reports are not made public]
Vale council officers say the council “continues to benefit” from :-
- Public service announcements, for example school closures and road closures;
- Promotion of news and information about council services;
- Promotion of the council’s website and other corporate communications channels;
- Promotion of various council-led campaigns via both advertising and studio features;
- Election coverage; and
- Promotion and broadcasting coverage of council events
An internal council reports says “Bro Radio provides other, less tangible benefits in terms of community development”.
Unlike most mainstream broadcasters, community radio stations have no obligation to be impartial in their reportage of news or in any of their output.