Blackburn and Ashfield community radio stations in repeat breach of Key Commitments

Blackburn and Asfield’s community radio stations have been found in breach of their licences for the second time after Ofcom received further complaints about output.

A single complaint in August 2022 about Blackburn’s 102.2 was upheld, with the regulator saying the station failed to deliver original output, speech, music, and to deliver on-air and off-air social gain during a week of monitoring.

Ofcom said it would monitor the service again in the future but received two more complaints so it had a listen to the output again in September 2023.

After listening, the body said the Licensee did not meet its requirement to broadcast “discussions relevant to the target audience” or that it achieves the “the facilitation of discussion and the expression of opinion”.

The station said it was going through a period of change and has opened up discussions with local businesses and organisations to bring in more volunteers to help deliver the Key Commitments.

The station is now known as Radio Blackburn.

And Takeover Radio 106.9 in Ashfield has been found in breach of its licence conditions for not providing recordings of its output for a week when a complaint was made.

The station had only been retaining recordings of its output for 30 days rather than the required 42, and also confirmed it hadn’t been broadcasting enough speech or original output.

Ofcom had to remind the licencee that continuous music with no speech content other than advertisements, station idents and/or outsourced news bulletins (i.e. news bulletins produced by a third party) does not count as original output.

Takeover Radio also has a requirement to air local travel news, but has not been doing so because it says it is not relevant to its target community.

Again, Ofcom reminded the Licensee that if it wishes to change its Key Commitments to remove the requirement to broadcast travel, it should submit a request to change its Key Commitments.