§ Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to widen choice for radio listeners.
§ Mr. Renton
We have endorsed IBA proposals to award 20 contracts for incremental radio stations. The first five674W will be announced in the spring. We have also agreed that a separate contract should be advertised for a station covering Heathrow and Gatwick airports. In addition we have authorised BBC and independent local radio stations to provide separate programmes if they wish on each of their current frequencies. The White Paper "Broadcasting in the '90s" makes further proposals to allow the expansion of radio in due course, in particular the establishment of independent national radio stations and up to several hundred local and community radio stations.