Parliamentary backing for deregulation


A cross-party group of MPs and Peers has confirmed its support for new Ofcom proposals to revise the localness rules for commercial radio.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Commercial Radio made a formal submission (here) in response to Ofcom’s latest consultation, which proposes to retain commitments on local news and information but give stations greater freedom in how they provide local output in future. The changes reflect a series of measures that the regulator is planning to take before parliament enacts Government proposals on commercial radio deregulation.

In response to the four core consultation questions from Ofcom the APPG response:
• agrees that Ofcom’s duty to secure ‘localness’ on local commercial radio stations could still be satisfied if stations were able to reduce the amount of locally-made programming;
• supports the specific proposal to amend the requirements on locally-made programming;
• agrees that the current approved areas should be revised;
• agrees with the proposed amendments to the requirements for local material.

Siobhan Kenny, Radiocentre Chief Executive, said:

“I’m pleased that the APPG has backed Ofcom’s proposals to introduce greater flexibility under the current rules. It has been almost ten years since Ofcom revised its localness guidelines and given how long it could take to secure changes through primary legislation these reforms represent the right move at the right time.”


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