MKFM are very grateful for the support of Milton Keynes Council who voted unanimously in favour of a motion to give their backing to us in the full council meeting on 10th January 2012.
We are especially grateful for the help of Councillor Lee Barney who represents the Walton Park ward and put the motion forward on our behalf.
This decision means that the Council will now use MKFM to reach our audience with their messages, and importantly, we can now demonstrate to Ofcom that we have the full support of our local council in our license application and this will be a real help to us as we work towards achieving a full time license to bring local radio back to Milton Keynes.
As a result of this support, the Chief Executive of the Council, Cllr Andrew Geary and the Chief Executive, David Hill have written to Ofcom to support MKFM's forthcoming community radio license application and to urge Ofcom to speed up the licensing process - read the letter here
Read his speech and the motion here:
Councillor Barney's Speech to Milton Keynes Council
Tonight I would like to highlight the important work being done by community radio stations such as MKFM.
MKFM are unique in Milton Keynes in that they target an audience of under 35's. Currently this is a group of people, difficult to reach and even when reached even harder to engage. Not only do MKFM have to compete with national stations such as Radio 1 and Heart Radio but they have to do so only twice a year and for no more than 28 days at a time.
Such is the current restriction of their temporary licence. Of course it is not a surprise that National radio stations have larger budgets and significant numbers of paid staff allowing them to poll and target a wider audience. So given the miniscule budget that MKFM operates on and the number of staff volunteers it is perhaps surprising the level of quality and general professionalism that I believe is presented daily on MKFM.
It is this volunteer spirit that I ask this Council to support.
I ask you to acknowledge their efforts in making something of substance from nothing.
I ask you to acknowledge their efforts to gain an official licence from OFCOM allowing them to broadcast
I ask that you support their efforts in working with the Council by instructing the relevant officers to work with MKFM where possible to engage our residents within MKFM's target audience.
Of course whilst this motion focuses on MKFM, it also relates to any community radio station applying for a licence through OFCOM. By allowing this motion to pass, it will pave the way for this Council to attach official approval to any licence application brought before it, where that licence application furthers this Councils vision for Milton Keynes.
Mayor, I've kept it brief and I look forward to the debate.
The Motion which was been passed is as follows:
1. That this Council recognises that for a vibrant and growing city such as Milton Keynes local media are an important part of establishing a shared identity and engaging citizens in the life of their community. Within this mix, the Council acknowledges the need for local radio stations that reflect and represent our City.
2. That this Council applauds the work that MKFM and other fledgling stations are doing to establish themselves, particularly in seeking to reach citizens who are not reached through conventional broadcasting.
3. That this Council agrees to:
(a) ask the Leader and the Chief Executive to write a letter to Ofcom strongly supporting the licence application made by MKFM and to provide similar expressions of support for other stations if requested in future where these further the Council’s vision for Milton Keynes; and
(b) ask Council officers to consider local radio stations as an important part of the communications mix, especially when seeking to reach target audiences that are not otherwise met through existing channels of communications