Derry mayor to met BBC chiefs in London this week

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Sandra Duffy will travel to London this week to meet with BBC chiefs to discuss concerns regarding the proposed cuts at BBC Radio Foyle.

Following the announcement by the BBC to cut the Radio Foyle’s flagship Breakfast programme and its hourly news bulletins as well as place a number of jobs at risk, the Mayor wrote to the Director General of the BBC Tim Davie and Rhodri Talfan Davies, BBC Director of Nations, requesting they attend a public meeting in Derry so that they could see for themselves the level of support there is for the Save the Radio Foyle campaign.

Last week the Mayor received a response from the BBC acknowledging her request and extending an invitation for her to meet with BBC bosses at Westminster on Wednesday to discuss her concerns.

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Mayor Duffy said that while it was unfortunate Mr Davie and Mr Davies had not accepted an invitation to travel to Derry she welcomed the opportunity to meet with them in London where she could express her deep concern at the proposed cuts to local services at BBC Radio Foyle. She said she will be calling on them to immediately reconsider the plans and as a minimum hold a public consultation on the proposals to allow the wider public to have their say on the proposed cuts.

Mayor Sandra Duffy. George Sweeney. DER2301GS – 14

Mayor Duffy said: “I will be sharing with the BBC chiefs the extent of public opposition here in Derry and across the North West to these proposed cuts and explaining to them the level of support and reliance there is locally for BBC Radio Foyle, its flagship Breakfast programme, hourly news bulletins and of course it’s newsroom staff. I will be doing all I can to put pressure on the BBC to reconsider these cost saving measures and to look elsewhere to make the necessary cuts.

“The Breakfast Show in particular is a flagship programme that has acted as an institution for the people of Derry and surrounding areas for many years, providing a vital platform for conversations around business, politics and current affairs. I look forward to the meeting and welcome the opportunity to present our case.”

Mayor Duffy also reiterated her call to the public to sign the petition that is available online and to do all they can to put pressure on the BBC ahead of the meeting on Wednesday to reconsider their decision, protecting jobs at the station and providing certainty and reassurance to workers and their families.

For those who don’t have access to the internet they can sign the petition at the Guildhall.