HC Deb 05 March 2002 vol 381 cc264-5W
Miss McIntosh

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what basis radio licences are allocated to religious broadcasters. [40358]

Dr. Howells

The Radio Authority, which licences all independent radio services in the UK, is given discretion under the Broadcasting Act 1990 to award local analogue, short-term restricted service, satellite and cable licences to religious bodies.

Religious bodies may apply to the Radio Authority for any of these licences. The Radio Authority will assess such applications against its criteria, as set out in its Code on News and Current Affairs and Programming, and its guidelines on ownership, particularly in respect of compliance with the authority's religious broadcasting guidelines, and ensuring spectrum is available for the service before issuing a licence.