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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Report 15 October 2012

 

Report of the Leader

 

Bro Radio

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To update Members on the developments of Bro Radio and present a business plan for the next three years.

Recommendations

1.         That consideration be given to the revised Bro Radio business plan.

2.         That the Managing Director be given delegated authority in consultation with the Leader to execute a Deed of Grant between the Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC.

3.         That subject to the above being approved an annual grant of £24,000 be made payable in monthly instalments.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         In order for the community radio station to continue to broadcast, supporting the council's communications strategies.

2.         To enable the funding arrangement to be regularised by way of a Deed of Grant.

3.         To enable the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC to continue trading.

Background

2.         Cabinet (24 June 2009) agreed a Deed of Grant supporting the establishment of a community radio station for the Vale of Glamorgan. That Deed of Grant has now come to an end, and the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC (Community Interest Company) is requesting a further three year grant. The council currently funds the CIC with £24,000 per year, paid in monthly instalments.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         A business plan and review is attached at appendix A. The community radio station has now been operating successfully for three years, and it is timely to consider the progress that it has made in that time:

·                Helping to develop a sense of community pride in the local area;

·                Providing a local news and public announcement service;

·                Delivery of volunteering, training and work experience opportunities to help local people, and especially young people into jobs and media work;

·                Educating, entertaining and informing local people;

·                24/7 broadcast outputs;

·                Ability to listen from anywhere in the world via the Internet;

·                Providing a wide range of outside broadcasts that encourage local people to take part and make a success of local events;

·                Increasing listeners from 4% in 2009 to 15% in 2012 (Vale Council public opinion survey);

·                Contributing to the development of a digital media centre in the YMCA, to provide a new media course in partnership with Cardiff and Vale College;

·                Various youth and community projects, including 'It's my Shout' (film making) with the BBC and with the MoD at St Athan;

·                Provide support for local businesses to advertise to a local audience at affordable rates,  not available in  commercial broadcasting .

4.         The Council, through its Deed of Grant, has financially supported the radio station for its first three years, providing a monthly grant of £2,000. In return, the station has provided:

·                Public service announcements, for example school closures during snow and road closures;

·                Promoting the council's website, as part of the Channel Strategy;

·                Promoting various council-led campaigns, such as 'paperless billing';

·                Election coverage;

·                Promotion and coverage of local events, such as the torch relay and the Eisteddfod;

·                Promoting and coverage of council- sponsored events;

·                Providing information on topics such as 'my school lunch', new recycling arrangements, launches, Older People's Forum,

·                Arts programme;

·                Work with schools on activities such as career days and activities with school children 'live on air' (such as carol singing) and school radio broadcasts;

·                Health promotion.

5.         The station is also supported by the Welsh Government, through its community radio fund. OFCOM has also supported the funding of a one year Sales and Fundraising Officer. The YMCA is a key partner for the station, providing its base and assisting in securing funding for studios and equipment.

6.         The station admits that it still can't reach all areas of the Vale. Its reach covers approximately 80,000 residents (approximately two-thirds) of the Vale. Applications to OFCOM to extend FM coverage have been unsuccessful. The station has considered moving its mast to a site in north west Barry which would reach residents in Penmark and part of St Athan, but this would be at the expense of reaching a larger target audience in Penarth. An application for digital status would cost an estimated £80,000 per year.

7.         In the recent Vale Council public opinion survey, Online listening has nearly doubled each year.

8.         The station is committed to:

·                Increasing its listeners;

·                Increasing public service broadcasting;

·                Increasing commercial revenue and grant funding;

·                Attracting more local people to train and become volunteers;

·                Giving young people who are fall in the NEET category an opportunity to access training and work experience ;

·                Develop its programming;

·                Increasing bilingual content of shows.

9.         In particular, the Council can make more use of the station to:

·                Promote events;

·                Inform local people about home and community safety issues;

·                Promote key messages, such as energy efficiency, food safety, free swimming, bus passes, etc.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      The current Deed of Grant provides Bro Radio with £2,000 paid monthly.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.      More could be made of Bro Radio to promote sustainability messages, such as recycling and energy efficiency. The radio should also be used to promote events such as litter picking activities. Public interest messages, such as flood warnings and how to access sand bags, can also be provided through the radio. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.      The Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC was awarded its radio licence in 2007. The agreement with the council is governed by a Deed of Grant.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.      The local radio station is an ideal way to promote community safety messages

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.      Bro Radio has been successfully including young people who may be socially disadvantaged and disabled people in its work during its first three years of operation. It was involved in promoting and covering the Eisteddfod, which helped to make the event a success.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.      The Corporate Plan 2010/14 commits the council to effectively engaging with citizens and stakeholders.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.      None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Bro Radio 2009-2011 Review and Business Plan 2012-2015

Bro Radio operations reports

 

Contact Officer

Beverly Noon, Operational Manager - Corporate Policy and Communications

 

Officers Consulted

Communications Manager

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director

 

 

 

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