Community radio to use youth centre

A NEW community radio station in Bradford on Avon has been the topic of debate between councillors after the group was granted free use of the youth and community centre.

Town councillors Simon McNeill-Ritchie and David Garwood spoke of community radio station to the town council at a meeting last week, and councillors voted to allow them free use of the room for their first year.

However some councillors had concerns with this decision.

Councillor Laurie Brown said: “The two councillors could potentially be taking income away from the town council.

“Also the station could potentially give them an outlet to promote their own political views which is a concern for democracy.

“The town council has fought long and hard some years ago to keep the centre open for all of the community. It is used by many groups and has always been unbiased politically, so I think this is giving the wrong message to Bradford.”

The community radio station would offer music content, local knowledge and provide the opportunity for young people to gain experience in radio production.

Cllr McNeill-Ritchie said: “I think there was some misunderstanding. We are a not for profit social enterprise and it is perfectly normal for the town council to help community groups like us get off the ground by offering a space for them.

“This will only be for the first year and when we are eventually making some sort of income we will contribute to the rent wherever we are.

“We are funding the running costs and the kitting out of the room all ourselves. This was just an empty room that was very rarely used.”

This is Wiltshire

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