|All switched off by October...very sad.:|
Julian Bray writes: Well its now openly confirmed BBC Radio Cambridgeshire will be fully pulling broadcasting out of the City of Peterborough, after some 30 years, and concentrating broadcasting resources for the whole County of Cambridgeshire on the City of Cambridge, so as these things go, the invaluable local knowledge of all things unique to the City of Peterborough, will in the fullness of time, be watered down.
Sadly it took another BBC region to tip me off some months back. They all seemed to know long before the local troops did, how can that be? Peterborough residents will however still be required to pay the licence fee.
THe City of Peterborough as an influence in the wider broadcasting scheme of things will clearly cease to exist, and who knows it might be part of an even bigger plan where the Unitary Authority of the City of Peterbrough calls it a day, and throws its lot in with the better financially resourced County Council?
What is probably not realised, is that good BBC Peterborough studio quality interviews are routinely fed into national and international networks - both radio and television. In the form of both audio and scripts and TV audio fed back to radio. Telephone quality interviews are rarely used again and are just one offs..
It probably didn't help our local cause, that Stewart Jackson MP and other Westminster select committee members, came over as exceptionally boorish and downright rude to the BBC suits ( its repeated from time to time on BBC Parliament TV), including the very new Director General Sir Tony Hall (Tony Hall in a previous life, being a very hands on well respected Head of BBC Radio News, at the time when our Stewart was still being potty trained) during the Parliamentary Select Committee hearing.
All live broadcasting from the Central Peterborough studios will cease in October, ironically just as the Peterborough Unitary Authority Link Bus network is also dismantled and off the road, but we hear a small admin. office for visiting TV crews will be maintained somewhere.
Hopefully presenter Paul Stainton, and his hard working award winning breakfast crew with their unique knowledge AND UNDERSTANDING of this City will all be able to make the move to Cambridge, but I don't think so, some will be let go, as many already have. Sadly for the cost of a single BBC TOP GEAR smash 'em up TV Show, several BBC Peterboroughs could be comfortably maintained with cash to spare.
The long serving troops at the BBC Cambridge broadcasting base are clearly better located 'and well dug in' to service the 4:20 am call and short commute to be 'bright eyed and bushy tailed' by the 6am transmission start. Andy Harper includes Breakfast generated Peterborough content, but Sue in the afternoon? Jeremy Sallis has little or no on air connection with this City, and it shows.
If the Peterborough City Council controlling political party, had an ounce of sense, it would do what most large grown up authorities do, and set up its own remote studio with a simple dial up ISDN line and a small ISDN self operated terminal. All can be done for the price of a few plastic corporation green planters, (but to be fair to Cllr Goodwin she has properly planted them up this year, so they look much better - but designwise still tres naff IMHO).
Although the BBC may be leaving the City, the voice and those of its residents must still be heard in broadcast quality sound from time to time on the local and national networks. Just not so often and as this mornings virtually music and fun free outside broadcast about a plan to build thousands of new houses on an old airfield somewhere in South Cambridge, could be the imposed shape of things to come . Who knows?
The dear leader the grandly sounding proud Italian Cllr Marco Cereste of Peterborough City Council however thinks he sounds good on the end of a smartphone - err he doesn't - so unless he is prepared to physically travel out of his manor and into Cambridge, speech content from this City will evaporate. Peterbrough has a set of challenges, unique to this City, both good and bad. It also has a unique way of dealing with multi-ethnic social challenges, all of which are of absolutely no interest to the well heeled county 'shire residents, 'Cambridge academia', transient Uni students and punting Japanese day trippers who make up the local population.
Within this City we have a virtually unique multicultrual macro society, which during the summer riots and burnings of a couple of years ago actually came together to keep the rioters out of this City. Not many other Cities can say that.
There will also be a physical price to pay, the Cambridge studio is already overstaffed with 'Cambridgecentric' presenters who care little for Peterborian matters, and we in turn have absolutely no interest in the grumbles of distant county councillors, or the happenings on the misguided busway or the afternoon musings of a brace of Cambridge society mums who bake and sell cup cakes to support hospices in Africa, from their Smallbone designer kitchens, whilst their husbands earn trillions in the nearby Cambridge Science Park. Where does the bedroom-tax fit in here? Or the hundreds waiting every Tuesday at 8am, for the Peterborough magistrates court to open, facing eviction from a council issued summons, or a recently parachuted in £125k salaried Head of Childrens Services, who is too posh or rarely available for media comment.
JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)