A MONMOUTHSHIRE county councillor has made a plea for local radio enthusiasts to come together to create a community station for the county.
Cllr Jo Watkins, for Caldicot Castle, believes there has never been a better time to set up a station, with so many people susceptible to loneliness in lockdown.
Cllr Watkins, who is also the Liberal Democrat Senedd candidate for South East Wales, said: “A concerted effort to win a broadcast licence for Monmouthshire is long overdue. It’s time to step up to the microphone.’’
In an appeal to Monmouthshire’s radio enthusiasts, volunteers, community representatives and business leaders to form a not-for-profit Radio Monmouthshire registered company, she said: “Older people, people with disabilities and non-technical people often prefer listening to radio for information and chat rather than using social media or downloading apps. We need to encourage community communication across Monmouthshire and community radio is ideal for this.”
In some parts of Monmouthshire, such as Llanelly Hill, Ragan and St Arvans, more than 25 per cent of residents are over 65, which Cllr Watkins says means they are most vulnerable to Covid and feeling socially detached.
“Community cohesion, volunteering and a commitment to reinvest in the expansion and improvement of the community radio service must be at the heart of any proposal,” she added.
‘‘Monmouthshire needs a team of local people – from local radio enthusiasts and volunteers to community representatives and business leaders – who can pick up this community radio ball and run with it.
‘‘Community radio offers countless volunteering opportunities for management, programming, presenting, community outreach, fund-raising, training and administration, but the first priority is to bring together a dynamic, focused and creative team to take the Radio Monmouthshire licence application forward.’’