As part of our initial application for a community radio licence, Uckfield Community Radio Limited provided the following Key Commitments:
Character of Service
Uckfield FM will provide a community radio station for the people of Uckfield and the surrounding villages and will serve as a voice for the local community.
- Output will typically comprise 70% music and 30% speech in daytime (‘speech’ excludes advertising, programme/promotional trails and sponsor credits).
- Music output will comprise of a mix of popular chart music from the last 50 years and specialist music such as motown, local bands, latin/worldwide music, jazz and show and film music.
- Speech output will include local news bulletins and information, a ‘Whats On’ guide, interviews, magazine programmes, live quiz programmes, local interest features, discussion programmes and local sports programming.
- Output will be broadcast in English
- The service will typically be live for at least 12 hours per day, and around 10 hours per day during the winter months. Live programming may include pre-recorded inserts if applicable. The majority of the output will be locally produced.
Social gain objectives
Community Radio Order 2004: “It is a characteristic of community radio services that they are local services provided primarily (a) for the good of members of the public, or of particular communities, and (b) in order to deliver social gain, rather than primarily for commercial reasons or for the financial or other material gain of the individuals involved in providing the service.”
“(a) the provision of sound broadcasting services to individuals who are otherwise underserved”
- Uckfield FM will provide a local service and broadcast features promoting life in the target community.
- The station may include local bands and other local talent in it’s programming.
“(b) the facilitation of discussion and the expression of opinion”
- The station will encourage direct audience participation in discussions on the service through email and text interaction and may establish off-air chatrooms and discussion newsgroups.
- Features on Uckfield FM will include debate, studio discussion and interviews about issues of local relevance.
- Feedback will be encouraged through phone-ins, text messaging and emails.
“(c) the provision (whether by means of programmes included in the service or otherwise) of education or training to individuals not employed by the person providing the service”
- Uckfield FM will offer an induction and training to around four new members each month. This training will be carried out on an individual basis and focussed on specific areas of expertise. The radio presentation skills training will be to provide the necessary skills needed to present programmes and conduct interviews.
- The station will create and offer media skills training for community leaders covering topics such as interview techniques and preparing press releases.
“(d) the better understanding of the particular community and the strengthening of the links within it”
- Listeners will be encouraged to subscribe to the station’s newsletter outlining it’s programming and community features.
- Members will be drawn from the local community.
- A Listener Panel will meet on a quarterly basis to review the output of the station and feedback community responses and needs to the station’s management.
Additional Social gain objectives:
- The station will help to raise the profile of small local businesses and encourage listeners to shop locally in order to increase prosperity in the local area.
Access and participation
Community Radio Order 2004: “It is a characteristic of every community radio service that members of the community it is intended to serve are given opportunities to participate in the operation and management of the service.”
- Uckfield FM will operate an open door policy for all organisations and individuals wishing to participate in the station.
- Local groups and organisations will be offered the opportunity to participate in on air interviews during daytime and evening programmes.
- The station will offer outside broadcast opportunities to local choirs, groups and organisations to broadcast directly to the target community in the town.
- At least 70 members will be involved with Uckfield FM in voluntary roles each year. New volunteers will be encouraged to join the station and all members will be given the opportunity to become active in the station and join management teams.
Accountability to the target community
Community Radio Order 2004: “It is a characteristic of every community radio service that, in respect of the provision of that service, the person providing the service makes himself accountable to the community that the service is intended to serve.”
- Listeners will be encouraged to get in touch with the station through various means such as by phone, email, letter or visits to the station. Feedback will be dealt with by the Chairman and/or Director of Programming who will liaise with all parties concerned.
- The station’s Listener Panel will meet on a quarterly basis, with the Panel Chairman reporting to the station Chairman with any observations and suggestions.
- Uckfield FM will host an Annual General Meeting which will be open to all listeners. Members of the station will have voting rights.
- The station will publish and make available a complaints procedure for its listeners as well as a grievance policy for its staff and volunteers.
All material in italics is a direct quotation from the Community Radio Order 2004