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Protesters to Hand in Petition at Downing Street over BBC Local Radio Plans

 DIARY NOTE: 03.07.2323 

Protesters to Hand in Petition at Downing Street Over BBC Plans to Cut Local Radio Stations

 Campaigners launch 'Download Day' for'Need My Local Radio'


  • 9:00am - BBC Broadcasting House, Langham St, W1B 3DF :Representatives of THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF THE UK (NFBUK) and the NUJ will protest against proposed cuts to BBC local radio. There will be a performance of 'Need My Local Radio' by singer Beldon Haigh and a copy of a petition will be handed in for the attention of the Director General.

  • 11:00am - Parliament Square:Supportive MPs invited to join representatives of NFBUK and NUJ gathering to protest against the cuts, during which there will be a live performance of 'Need My Local Radio' by Beldon Haigh.

  • 1:00pm - Downing Street:NFBUK, NUJ, Beldon Haigh and MP Simon Fell (other MPs TBC) will hand in a petition against the cuts to 10 Downing Street.

ANGRY protesters will accuse the BBC of ripping out the heart and soul of regional communities over plans to slash content from 39 local radio stations.

The proposals by BBC bosses would force local radio stations to share content after 2pm and at weekends. The plans have been branded as discriminatory towards the elderly and disabled and have been criticised in Parliament.

Protestors will gather at Downing Street at 1pm on Monday July 3rd 2023 to hand in a petition by the National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK), which is backed by 221 local organisations and over 30 MPs from across all parties (see list below).

Campaigners are also urging the public to support the campaign by downloading a protest song called'Need My Local Radio'by Scots-based singer Beldon Haigh. If the song gets into the download charts, protestors say the BBC may be forced into giving it airplay. All proceeds from the track are being donated to the charity National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK).

Sarah Gayton, Campaign Coordinator for the NFBUK, said: "The proposed changes to local radio will result in the afternoon and weekend shows being shared across regions, and late-night shows being replaced with a national show, with many presenters losing their jobs. This will rip the heart and soul out of the local public broadcasting service, with the BBC moving content off air and online, which will deepen the digital divide between those people who are online and those who are not.

"The NFBUK asked for the BBC's Equality Impact Assessment and a Public Value Test on the proposed changes through a Freedom of Information request but the BBC said it was exempt from providing this information.Making these cruel cuts and changes to the daily schedules will further isolate many people who are already marginalised from society and disconnect them from what is happening locally where they live."

The National Union of Journalists is among the organisations that are calling upon their members to download'Need My Local Radio.'

Singer Beldon Haigh, who will be among the group that hands in the petition to Downing Street, said: "As a musician I care passionately about BBC radio, but the lack of transparency surrounding this proposal is very worrying. It's been said in Parliament that the BBC is effectively getting rid of local radio. I've been told that many people within the BBC may be scared to speak out against the cuts so I hope this song is a way of giving a voice to everybody who is affected by these cutbacks." 

On June 22nd, MPs passed a Commons motion tabled by former Conservative minister Sir Mike Penning, which called for the BBC to reconsider.

Paul Siegert,NUJ National Broadcasting Organiser, said:"The NUJ is calling on all lovers of local radio and music to download Beldon Haigh's song Need My Local Radio, a tune of love and in support of the joys, value and place in the community of local radio - and a plea to the BBC to think again.

The band came along to the NUJ's picket line at New Broadcasting House, London, on Wednesday 7 June when journalists were on a 48-hour strike over the BBC's plans to cut local radio output by almost half making many popular presenters redundant, cancelling shows, and forcing local stations to share content across larger regional areas. On May 25, the song'Need My Local Radio'was uploaded to BBC Introducing. BBC radio stations were contacted and asked to consider playing it.

Beldon added: "Some producers have indicated privately that they like it, but still nobody has played it. There is plenty of reason for the BBC Radio stations to play a song, which is fundamental support of the work of their 39 grassroots local radio stations. So why are they not playing it? We have been told privately that playing such a song might be considered ‘inappropriate.' We say there has never been a more appropriate time to play it."


* You can download 'Need My Local Radio' via major platforms or by visiting 





Supporting MPs So Far:

1 Sarah Champion MP Rotherham
2 Simon Fell MP Barrow and Furness

3 Helen Morgan MP North Shropshire

4 Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP Streatham

5 Dame Caroline Dinenage MP Gosport

6 Bob Blackman MP Harrow East

7 Emma Hardy MP Hull West and Hessle

8 Henry Smith MP Crawley

9 Robin Walker MP Worcester

10 Ben Bradshaw MP Exeter [note: Ben hopes to meet campaigners on Monday after 2pm)

11 Paul Blomfield Labour MP for Sheffield Central

12  Claudia Webbe MP Member of Parliament for Leicester East

13  Ian Byrne MP Liverpool West Derby

14 Derek Thomas MP West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives)

15 Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East

16  Sir John Lewis MP, New Forest East

17 Diana Johnson MP, Kingston upon Hull, North

18 Wera Hobhouse MP, Bath

19 Kim Johnson MP, Liverpool Riverside

20 Richard Foord MP, Tiverton & Honiton

21 Duncan Baker MP North Norfolk

22 Jo Gideon MP Stoke-on-Trent Central

23 Tim Farron, Member of Parliament for Westmorland and Lonsdale

24 Rachael Maskell MP, York Central

25 Andrew Lewer MBE MP, Northampton South

26 Grahame Morris, Easington

27 Peter Dowd MP, Bootle

28 Zarah Sultana MP, Coventry South

29  Mick Whitley MP, Birkenhead

30 Peter Aldous MP, Waveney

31 Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Worthing West

32 Martin Vickers MP, Cleethorpes

33 Emma Lewell-Buck MP, for South Shields

34Mike Amesbury MP for Weaver Vale

Supporting Lords So Far:

1  Lord Cashman CBE

2  Claire Fox, Baroness Fox of Buckley

3  Lord Blunkett

4 Lord Holmes

5 Baroness Lister of Burtersett

6 Lord Smith of Finsbury, Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge

Supporting Organisations So Far:

1 National Pensioners Convention
2 Access Committee for Leeds
3 Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC)
4 Action Hampshire
5 Action on Disability London
6 Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton
7 Age Concern North Norfolk
8 Age UK Birmingham
9 Age UK Bolton
10 Age UK Bradford District
11 Age UK Gloucestershire
12 Age UK Lancashire
13 Age UK Portsmouth
14 Age UK Sandwell
15 Age UK Staffordshire
16 Alström Syndrome UK and Breaking Down Barriers
17 Atherstone District Gateway Club
18 Avon Talking Magazine
19 Avril Coelho Creations
20 Aylesbury Talking Newspaper
21 BaNES Third Sector Group (3SG)
22 Barnardo's Child & Family Centres, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire
23 Barnsley CVS
24 Bedfordshire Branch NARPO National Association of Retired Police Officers
25 Better Lives, Knowsley
26 Beyond Sight Loss
27 Blackburn and District Blind Society
28 BlindAid, London
29 Bolton Newstalk Sensory Centre
30 Boston and South Holland Talking Newspaper
31 Bowls Hampshire
32 Breathing Space
33 Bristol Older People's Forum
34 Bromley District Talking News
35 Buxton Talking Newspaper
36 Calderdale Forum 50 Plus
37 Camsight
39 CHAT2Us Gosport
40 Chelmsford Area Access Group
41 Chelmsford Talking Newspaper
43 Chippenham & District Talking Newspapers
44 Chorley Sightseekers
45 Chronic Illness Inclusion
46 Communities 1st
47 Community Action Malvern & District
48 Community Action Sutton
49 Connected Voice Newcastle upon Tyne
50 Copeland Talking Newspaper
51 County Durham Talking Newspaper
52 Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind
53 Craven Cassette (Talking newspaper charity)
54 Cross key homes
55 Cumbria CVS Council for Voluntary Service
56 Darlington Talking Newspaper Newspaper
57 Devon in Sight
58 disAbility Cornwall & Isles of Scilly
59 Dorset Blind Assocation
60 Durham Branch National Association Of Retired Police Officers
61 Earth Balance Shed, Bedlington
62 East Cheshire Eye Society
63 East Shropshire Talking Newspaper
64 East Sussex Vision Support
65 Eastbourne Blind Society
66 Eastleigh Mens Shed
67 Elmbridge Runnymede and Spelthorne Talking Newspaper
68 Esme's Umbrella (the charity dedicated to people who develop Charles Bonnet Syndrome after sight loss)
70 Evesham Volunteer Centre
71 Forest Sensory Services
72 Forest Talk, Talking Newspaper for the Blind in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
73 Friends Through Pain
74 Galloways Support Through Sight Loss
75 Goalball UK
76 Gosport Access Group and Disability Forum
77 Gosport Partners through Pain
78 Gosport U3a
79 Gosport Voluntary Action
80 Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People
81 Hackney CVS (Hackney Council for Voluntary Service)
82 Hackney Disability BackUp
83 Hambleton Community Action, Northallerton
84 Harrogate & District Community Action
85 Hart Voluntary Action, Hampshire
86 Havant Talking News
87 Wycombe Talking Newspaper
88 Headway Tamworth and Lichfield Brain Injury Support Group
89 Heart of England Mencap
90 Henshaws Society for the Blind
91 Herefordshire Federation WI
92 Humberside National Association of Retired Police Officers
93 Inclusion London
94 Inclusive Farm Northampton
95 Inclusive Norwich
96 Iscatape, Talking Newspaper in Exeter
97 iSightCornwall
98 Keighley and District Talking Newspaper
99 KickBack Recovery Community CIO
100 Kings Lynn Talking Newspaper association
101 Kingston Talking Newspaper
102 York Talking News
103 Leicester Disabled People's Access group
104 Lewes and District Talking Newspaper
105 Lincoln & Lindsey Blind Society
106 London Sports Club for the Blind
107 London to Morocco
108 Luton All Women's Centre
109 Macular Society
110 Maidenhead & District Talking Newspaper for the Blind
111 March Talking Newspaper for the Blind
112 MertonVision
113 Middlesex Association for the Blind
114 Mothers' Union Diocese of Leicester
115 My Sight Notts
116 My Sight Team Yorkshire Coast Sight Support
117 My Sight York
118 My Vision Oxfordshire
119 N-Vision, Blackpool
120 Nantwich Show
121 National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN)
122 New Earswick Disabled Swimming Club
123 Newcastle Vision Support
124 Northampton Mencap
125 Northern Academy of Performing Arts, Hull
126 Nottingham Community and Voluntary Serivce
127 Nova Wakefield District Ltd
128 One Westminster
129 Open Sight Hampshire
130 Otley & District Talking News
131 Outlookers
132 Oxford & District Talking Newspaper for the Blind
133 Oxford and District Amateur Radio Society
134 Oxford Talking Newspaper (Oxtalk)
135 Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action
136 Paston Farm Community Foundation
137 Plymouth & West Devon Talking Newspaper
138 Pocklington Lodge TA Committee
139 Pontefract and Castleford Talking Newspaper
140 Possibility People
141 Redditch Assocation for the Blind
142 Ringwood & Fording Bridge Talking News
143 RNIB
144 Rossendale Talking Newspaper
145 SACMHA Health and Social Care, Sheffield
146 Sandwell Talking News
147 Sandwell Visually Impaired (SVI)
148 Secretary, Gosport Older Person's Forum
149 Sheffield Mencap & Gateway
150 Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind
151 Sid Vale and East Devon Talking Newspaper
152 Sight and Mind CIC
153 Sight for Surrey
154 Sight Support Derbyshire
155 Sight Support Hull & East Yorkshire
156 Sight Vision Support
157 Silver Voices
158 Solihull Borough Talking Newspaper
159 Soundwaves talking newspaper
160 South Lakes Talking Newspaper Association
161 Southampton Area Talking Echo
162 Southampton Sight
163 Southport Talking Newspaper
164 St Albans & District Talking Newspaper
165 Support 4 Sight
166 Surrey Coalition of Disabled People
168 Talking News Federation
169 Teentalk CIC
170 The Blaydon Shed
171 The Burton Street Foundation
172 The Dawlish and Teignmouth Area Talking Newspaper (Hear and Now)
173 The Meerbrook Park Users Trust
174 The Partially Sighted Society
175 The Plough Arts Centre. Great Torrington, Devon
176 The School of Artisan Food, Nottinghamshire
177 Thomas Pocklington Trust
178 Vision Norfolk
179 Vision Support, Chester
180 Vista Leicestershire
181 Visually Impaired in Camden
182 Visually Impaired Society of Richmond
183 Voluntary Action Sheffield
184 Voluntary Action Swindon
185 Voluntary Support North Surrey
186 Volunteer Cornwall
187 Volunteer Link Up (West Oxon)
188 VONNE Voluntary Organisations' Network North East
189 Wakefield District Sight Aid
190 Walsall Society for the Blind
191 Wandsworth Blind Bowling Club
192 Warwickshire Bowls Association
193 Waveney Words
194 Weston Retired Bowls England
195 Wiltshire Federation of Women's Institutes
196 Winchester and District Talking Newspaper
197 WinVisible women with visible and invisible disabilities
198 Wirral Society of the Blind and Partially Sighted
199 Witney Talking News
200 Woking Talking Newspaper (1988) Association
201 Women in Rural Enterprise WIRE
202 Worcester Talking Newspaper, (Worcester News and Equipment Services for the Blind)
203  New Milton & New Forest Talking Newspaper
204  Greenstede Talking News
205  Havering Talking Newspaper
206  Windsor Talking Newspaper (RCN 271879)
207  Reading's Talking news
208  Rugby Talking Newspaper
209  St Edmundsbury Newstalk
210 Greenwich Talking Newspaper Association
211 Kenilworth, Warwick and Leamington Spa Talking Newspaper
212 BDAN, Bedford and District Audio News
213 Birmingham Talking Newspapers for the Blind and Visually Impaired (BTNBVI)
214 Vision Support Barrow and Districts
215  Trowbridge Talking News
216 Talking News Islington for the Blind
217  Wallingford & District Talking Newspaper
218  Disability Rights UK
219 Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
220 Hertfordshire Federation of WI's
221 Eastbourne Talking Newspaper Association