Agenda Item No 10

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 30 July, 2018

Report of the Leader

Renewal of Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting Community Interest Company Deed of Grant

Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Members on the activities of Bro Radio and to seek an extension of funding for a further three years.

Recommendations

1.        That the Managing Director be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Leader, to renew the Deed of Grant between the Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting Community Interest Company for a further three year period.

2.        That subject to the above an annual grant of £24,000 be payable in monthly instalments.

Reasons for the Recommendations

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

2.        To assist in the trading of Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC and to facilitate the continued broadcasting of the community radio station and commensurate support of the Council's communications strategies.

Background

  1. In 2009 Cabinet agreed grant funding for the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting Community Interest Company ("Bro Radio") which resulted in the establishment of the community radio station.  The 2009 Deed of Grant expired in 2012 and was subsequently renewed for a further three years.  The 2012 Deed of Grant expired in 2015 and was subsequently renewed as previously. Throughout this time the grant has been set at £24,000 per year, paid in equal monthly instalments.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Council receives regular reports detailing the work undertaken by Bro Radio on behalf of the Council and the partnership between the two organisations continues to develop.
  2. As a result of this partnership the Council continues to benefit from:

- Public service announcements, for example school closures and road closures;

- Promotion of news and information about Council services;

- Promotion of the Council's website and other corporate communications channels;

- Promotion of various Council-led campaigns via both advertising and studio   features;

- Election coverage; and

- Promotion and broadcasting coverage of Council events

  1. The station is no longer supported by the Welsh Government's community radio fund. While the station does apply for all available grant funding, the only grant of which the station is currently in receipt is that supplied by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
  2. The station generates commercial income through advertising.
  3. The YMCA is a key partner for the station, providing its base and assisting in securing funding for studios and equipment.
  4. Bro Radio's broadcasts currently reach approximately half of Vale residents, however FM broadcast are only available in the east of the County. The station is in the process of applying for an extended broadcasting license in order to broadcast to the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan
  5. Online listening and the station's social media reach are continuing to increase year-on-year. The station has over 14,000 'likes' on their Facebook page.
  6. 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 in the NEET category (Not in Education, Employment or Training) an opportunity to access training and work experience;

- Develop its programming; and

- Increasing bilingual content.

  1. The Council can continue to 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.

  1. Bro Radio provides other, less tangible benefits in terms of community development. Many local young people are attracted to work in the media, and Bro Radio, with its digital recording studios, offer volunteering and work experience.
  2. Most information from public services is now available online. Bro Radio offers information to those who do not use the internet.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The current Deed of Grant provides Bro Radio with £2,000 paid monthly, and funding will continue for the next three years at this level. Funding will come from existing budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. As outlined above, there are valuable community development benefits to be gained through a community radio initiative such as this one.  Information has also been included in Bro Radio broadcasts to promote environmental sustainability messages, such as recycling and energy efficiency. In addition, public interest messages such as flood warnings and how to access sandbags have been provided by the radio station. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Deed of Grant which governs the award received by the Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting Community Interest Company requires compliance with set grant conditions throughout the grant period to enable continued funding to be received.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. Bro Radio has been successfully including young people who may be socially disadvantaged and disabled people in its work throughout its period of operation.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Corporate Plan 2016/20 sets out the Council's vision for 'Strong Communities with a Bright Future' and one of the values that underpins this vision is 'working together as a team that engages with our communities and partners.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. No consultation has taken place as the subject matter of the report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Performance and Resources

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Hannah Davies - Communications Manager

Officers Consulted

Head of Performance and Development

Senior Lawyer - Legal Services

Principal Accountant - Accountancy

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director