Greater Manchester MP's says "community programmes" must stay!

February 21, 2006 3:08 PM

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen has been joined by Liberal Democrat Colleagues Mark Hunter MP and John Leech MP in the fight to save 3 of Greater Manchester's popular, community radio programmes. The trio have a tabled an EDM (Early Day Motion) aimed at raising the awareness of the potential "cost-cutting exercise." They have accused bosses of BBC Greater Manchester Radio (BBC GMR) Bosses of "letting some of the most diverse communities in Greater Manchester down." It has been revealed that under a review of BBC GMR programmes, the Irish, Jewish and Gay Communities in Greater Manchester face losing their specialist shows in a shake up of programmes.

BBC GMR have recruited celebrity name - Terry Christian, who will be the new Breakfast Anchor - opposite Eamon O'Neil who will continue on Drivetime. GMR's plans could result in 3 of the longest running community and specialist shows in the country disappearing from our airwaves forever. Shows in danger include popular Jewish show - "It's Kosher", 10 year old "Gaytalk" and the popular show - "The Parlour" that has been running for 21 years. Ironically, there was a huge celebration at last year's Manchester Irish Festival when the UK's longest running Irish Show celebrated its 20th Anniversary. I hope as many Greater Manchester MP's as possible sign the Early Day Motion.

Rochdale MP - Paul Rowen said, "I am concerned that these shows are under threat, GMR has done a great job for many years catering for community and specialist shows in the Greater Manchester area. If we lose these 3 shows then I fear that GMR will lose part of it's identity. They claim that they will incorporate the 3 shows into their normal schedule under the name "Citizen Manchester. I believe this sends out the wrong message to the people of Greater Manchester and that this looks like happening at the BBC is worrying."

Paul continued, "Coming from Irish Descent I have regularly tuned into The Parlour and the influence of the show in the Irish Community is immense, I am sure that amongst the Jewish and Gay community the influence is similar. BBC GMR should stop looking at listening figures and continue their great tradition of being a Public Service to all communities in Greater Manchester. I will be tabling an Early Day Motion (EDM) and encouraging MP's from all parties to sign up and put pressure to keep diversity at the centre of BBC Broadcasting in Greater Manchester!"