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Radio: Licensing

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many community radio licences (a) were awarded and (b) ended in each month of the last five years. (310719)

This information is not held centrally by the Department.

Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to write direct to the hon. Member. Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what service criteria must be met by community radio stations in order to receive a radio licence. (310720)

The terms under which Ofcom must assess an application for a community radio licence were set out in the Community Radio Order 2004.

These include:

the extent to which the provision of any such proposed service would result in the delivery of social gain to the public or the relevant community;

the provision that each of the applicants proposes to make in order to render himself accountable to the relevant community in respect of the provision of the proposed service;

the provision that each of the applicants proposes to make to allow for access by members of the relevant community to the facilities to be used for the provision of the service and for their training in the use of those facilities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether he plans to bring forward proposals to remove the restrictions on community radio licence areas in respect of advertising and sponsorship. (310722)

The Government have no plans at this time to remove the current advertising and sponsorship restrictions which were placed on community radio stations in the Community Radio Order 2004.

However, following reviews of the sector by Ofcom and as part of the Digital Britain Review we have introduced a draft Community Radio Order 2010 which seeks to reduce the regulatory burden on community stations. The order would allow stations to take more than 50 per cent. of their funding from a single source and allow stations to apply for a renewal, of up to five years, of their existing licence. Taken together we believe these measures will support the community radio sector in the future without any significant impact on local commercial stations.