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New opportunity for Dorset to get a full & proper service from the BBC
Mon 24 Nov 2008

The BBC Trust announced on Friday, 21st November, 2008, that it had refused a plan (called BBC Local) to spend £68 million by adding teams across the country to extend local news via the internet.   The trust has subsequently invited BBC Management to submit new proposals that could be funded from this 'spare' money.   Deadline for bids is 5th January 2009, with a preliminary decision possible by February/March 2009.   BBC management have confirmed they are meeting this week to discuss and agree priorities prior to making submissions to the BBC Trust.   We understand that Dorset, which is widely accepted by all levels within the BBC as badly "underserved", will be included in the discussions, with a high degree of priority.   DorBAG has repeated its requests that would, we believe, give Dorset the full set of resources and services that it deserves as follows:

a)  The County of Dorset (excluding Bournemouth & Poole) to be folded under one BBC Region (instead of three).   This should ensure full support/funding by BBC management.

b)  Add a TV transmitter in Dorset aimed at ensuring full coverage of the county – i.e. full 6 multiplexes (all Freeview channels) designed and positioned to give maximum coverage of households across Dorset.

c)  Move the present outdated and unsuitable studio in Dorchester to a new site with the latest facilities (ideal site is in the new Brewery development alongside the Arts Centre).  The present site must surely affect the morale of the staff.

d)  Recruit and install a full team of people in/based on Dorchester, with an Editor in charge responsible for all Dorset news, and whose job would then be to ‘Network  the News’ by persuading the main editors of Spotlight/South/West/Solent and others to give proper coverage of the county’s news – not forgetting, of course, the Olympics in Weymouth & Portland in 2012!

e)  We expect that if we could achieve the above, that BBC Radio Dorset would automatically follow in due course.

DorBAG will be pressing hard for support of ALL these proposals!

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