HC Deb 26 January 1989 vol 145 cc673-4W
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 five 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.