HC Deb 16 July 1973 vol 860 c16
14. Mr. John Hannam

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications when the new medium-wave regional news broadcasts will commence in the West Country.

Sir J. Eden

The BBC tells me that it hopes to open the relay stations at Barnstable, Plymouth and Torquay in the autumn. The others will take rather longer.

Mr. Hannam

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great pleasure that the decision to reintroduce local news broadcasting on medium wave has given to the people of the West Country? Will he ask the BBC to reintroduce some of the excellent programmes, such as "Midday Parade" and "The West at Westminster", which disappeared in April at the same time as the reintroduction of these medium-wave broadcasts?

Sir J. Eden

That is obviously a matter for the BBC, and I have no doubt that it will note what my hon. Friend has said.

Mr. Loughlin

I am appreciative that some parts of the region will be covered, but when will all parts be covered so that people without VHF sets—who include many pensioners—can receive regional programmes without buying new sets?

Sir J. Eden

I cannot give a firm date for the time when all the relay stations will be in operation, but there will still be places outside their range. However, it is intended to extend them as far as practicable.