We are proud of our achievements

PUBLISHED: 16:14 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:59 10 June 2010

I write to convey my surprise that recently, and for the second time (Exmouth s radio station pressures government: 11 August 2009) you have asserted that Bay FM has gone cap in hand to the Exmouth Town Council, seeking funds.

I write to convey my surprise that recently, and for the second time (Exmouth's radio station pressures government: 11 August 2009) you have asserted that Bay FM has gone 'cap in hand' to the Exmouth Town Council, seeking funds.

The report said that in June, Bay FM went cap in hand to the town council in their bid to buy a licence to become Exmouth's first fully-fledged radio station, after a series of successful 'test' broadcasts.

It also said that, despite support from councillors, the finance committee was unable to pledge their financial support - partially because of the prohibitively high cost a full licence.

Aside from the fact that licences are not bought, but are earned, I draw to your attention that the expression 'cap in hand' implies asking someone for money or help in a way which makes one feel ashamed. As you are aware, the regulation of broadcasting in the UK is undertaken by OfCom and that body expects Not-For-Profit Community Radio stations actively to seek funding from all sources, including, where appropriate, local authorities. We have nothing to be ashamed about. In fact, the letter that I wrote as the chairman of the Bay FM steering committee was requested by the committee in order to spell out, in more detail, than was possible in a standard application form, our commitment to and enthusiasm about, the development of a full-time radio service, specifically for the citizens of Exmouth.

Second, may I please be allowed to dispel the myth that the council was 'unable to pledge their financial support - partially because of the prohibitively high cost a full licence'. The cost of a full licence is not prohibitively high - the cost of a full licence, which attracts fees under the Broadcasting Act and the Wireless Telegraphy Act, is less that £1,000 and overall, the costs of full-time set-up and broadcast are significantly less than the cost of 14 day short term, restricted service licence (RSL) broadcast. In fact, we have considerable support from the finance committee (see minutes of the meeting at http://www.exmouth.gov.uk/Core/Exmouth/UserFiles/Files/FinMin15.06.09.pdf) and have been invited to make a presentation to them in October. I hope you are able to attend.

As you are aware, through information provided to you, we shall be on air again next May for the Exmouth Festival.

Ian K McKenzie,

Chair, Bay FM Steering Committee.

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