Lancaster radio station responds to Ofcom warning

Duncan Moore from Beyond Radio.
Duncan Moore from Beyond Radio.

Media regulator Ofcom said it is to monitor Lancaster community radio station Beyond Radio after it failed to deliver on “key commitments” for the second time in six months.

One person made a complaint to the regulator that not enough speech was being broadcast.

Beyond Radio presenters Mairi and Alistair Fisher

Beyond Radio presenters Mairi and Alistair Fisher

Beyond Radio should be providing 16 hours per day of original output, but over a number of days in December, original content only accounted for between six and ten hours.

Duncan Moore, the stations’s communities director, said Beyond Radio acknowledges and fully accepts the findings following the complaint, and has since worked tirelessly to resolve the issues.

Ofcom said that the service was providing speech output in the form of community information, but there was no evidence of documentaries, drama or comedy being broadcast.

The station’s licensee, PCML, was previously found in breach of licence conditions on July 17 2017 for failing to comply with its key commitments in relation to the provision of original locally-produced programming.

Sarah Maginness, Lewis Nolan and David Chandler, hosts of Friday Night Three on Beyond Radio, with Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster, who was a guest on their show last week.

Sarah Maginness, Lewis Nolan and David Chandler, hosts of Friday Night Three on Beyond Radio, with Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster, who was a guest on their show last week.

Following this, the Licensee assured Ofcom that it had plans in place to develop the speech content and increase the amount of original programming hours to meet its key commitments.

Mr Moore said: “Beyond Radio has acknowledged and fully accepted the findings of the complaint made to our regulator in relation to our license conditions. “Since the time of the original complaint last year, the station has worked tirelessly to resolve the issues identified and are confident in our continued ability to meet the conditions set out by the regulator as we are in a far stronger position now.

“Our continued success in broadcasting a community led and focused service across the Lancaster and Morecambe district is evidenced by a growing and significant listener base, and the incredible engagement and very positive messages of support that the station has received in recent months. We remain fully committed and proud to be delivering a local service, for local people from the heart of the district and resourced only by a dedicated and talented team of volunteers and through our fundraising efforts and the support of our community partners.

“We always welcome members of our community to get in touch, and to get involved and invite anyone that has a passion for radio to visit our website at www.beyondradio.co.uk for further details.”

Ofcom said it would now monitor the station for any further breaches and may consider further regulatory action including the imposition of a statutory sanction.