Latest ArticlesCOP28: 7 food and agriculture innovations needed to protect the climate and feed a rapidly growing world Santos, now booted from the House, got elected as a master of duplicity — here’s how it worked Colonized countries rarely ask for redress over past wrongs − the reasons can be complex Artificial wombs could someday be a reality – here’s how they may change our notions of parenthood Turmoil at OpenAI shows we must address whether AI developers can regulate themselves Who is still getting HIV in America? Medication is only half the fight – homing in on disparities can help get care to those who need it most Electric arc furnaces: the technology poised to make British steelmaking more sustainable Sustainability schemes deployed by business most often ineffective, research reveals Destruction of Ukrainian heritage: why losing historical icons can leave a long shadow These programs make college possible for students with developmental disabilities
Hundreds of BBC local radio station staff are set to take industrial action on 8 May, the day of the local elections, in protest at plans to cut radio output.
The broadcasting union BECTU has said that staff at 21 of the BBC's local radio stations will be taking action. The dispute centres around plans to reduce the amount of locally produced output, with the BBC proposing to replace local shows with networked programming.
The union has accused the BBC of “kneecapping” its local radio stations, and has called on the broadcaster to withdraw its plans.
Talking about the planned industrial action, BECTU general secretary Gerry Morrissey said: “This industrial action is a clear message to the BBC that we will not sit by and allow them to kneecap our local radio stations.
“The BBC has failed to listen to local radio staff and their audiences, who are rightly outraged by its plans to reduce the quality and quantity of local programming.”
Morrissey added that the union was encouraging listeners to join in the protest, saying: “We’re asking listeners to stand with us and make sure their voices are heard.”
The BBC has said it is “surprised and disappointed” by the industrial action, and that its plans were designed to ensure local radio remains “vibrant and relevant” to local audiences.
The broadcaster said that it had already made changes in response to feedback from staff and the public, and that it had “no plans to close any local radio services”.
It is unclear what impact the industrial action will have on local election coverage, or on the BBC's local radio output. The BBC has said it will continue to provide coverage of the elections across all of its services.