24.9.16

Disabled People against Cuts

DISABLED PEOPLE AGAINST CUTS WEST MIDLANDS
DAY OF ACTION
CONSERVATIVE PARTY CONFERENCE 
3rd October 2016
Assemble: 13:00pm 
St Philip's Cathedral, Colmore Row, Birmingham
No More ‘’Cinderella’’ Role – We Will Go To The Ball!


PRESS RELEASE
Disabled People Against Cuts West Midlands is a campaigning network opposed to the sham ‘Age of Austerity’, cuts to services, and the inequalities that continue to exclude disabled people from, or marginalise them within, mainstream social activities. DPAC WM has organised a Day of Action during the Conservative Party Conference to highlight disabled people’s experiences. We will tell our grim reality and demonstrate how our Cinderella role is played out daily.

The story to be told...
Cinderella was often locked away, forgotten, left to make baskets no one saw. Now she appears out, if allowed to, but her opportunities are decreasing again.  One day her fairy godmother paid her a visit and told her life didn’t have to be like this. She promised to help Cinderella have a Ball, but in order to break the spell of the evil witch completely and free herself from her wicked stepmother and wicked stepsisters, Cinderella would have to find a magical key called Article Nineteen.
Why a Day of Action?
We challenge the Conservative Party’s view that the Government is implementing the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Disabled People, especially its Article Nineteen. We accuse the Conservative Party of worsening the lives of disabled people by adopting policies and practices which increase our disablement, violate our bodies and minds and have whipped up disability hate.

We invite the mass media and general public to come along and hear our story...

Contact: Sandra Daniels & Bob Williams-Findlay – DPAC WM Co-ordinators

Email: DPACWM@outlook.com  Telephone: 07887717213

Incremental contracts: CRA response (1989)

Salim Salam reports on the recent CRA sponsored conference in Nottingham which addressed the community radio to Britain's black communities. 

The Community Radio Association welcomed the statement this month that the Government will allow the Independent Broadcasting Authority to introduce incremental radio contracts.

It has been a long wait for such an obvious stop-gap measure. Now for the first time since the ill-fated community radio experiment of 1985, there is a limited opportunity for groups of ordinary people to own, manage and run a radio station which genuinely reflects their lives and community.

Paul Brown - IBA
At the recent meeting of the CRA in Colchester, Paul Brown, Head of Programming at the IBA, said they would be looking for "new people with new ideas, doing new things in a new way".

The CRA expects the IBA to fulfil its promise. Invitations should make it clear that the IBA welcomes applications from part-time stations, frequency sharers and those which are non-profit maximising and not necessarily financed solely by advertising. A high priority must be given to introducing the first radio stations controlled by the Afro-Caribbean, Asian and smaller ethnic minorities.
New formats for presenting pop music should take a back seat to those who provide a voice for communities excluded from legal broadcasting. Community stations must be given adequate time to raise the necessary finance, and greater weight should be given to the quality of programmes than to the speed a station can go on air.

The CRA will be pressing the IBA on all these points in its advisory capacity to the IBA's Radio Division. It appears that only a limited number of licences will be available. This will provide little incentive for many unlicensed operators to come off the air. Nevertheless they will be faced with a draconian five year ban if they are caught after January the first. For the pirates it is a small carrot and a rather large stick. The CRA now intends to step up its services to aspiring non-profit community based groups. This will include advice on applications, legal constitutions and management structures, studio costs and sources of grants and low interest loans for start up capital.

£10k IBA constructed studio
The Association is also bringing forward plans to establish a charitable Community Broadcasting Trust. This will be a unique source of education, research and  information for the public on community radio matters. Interest has already been expressed from a number of charities and the CRA is actively seeking corporate business sponsors. The CRA took the first step towards discussing with the black communities of Britain its vision of the way ahead for community radio at the first national conference for black people on the subject in Nottingham on August 20.

The conference, Community Radio and its significance to black people, was organised by the Black Conference Planning Group and representatives of the Association of Musicians and Artists, Nottingham. It was held at the Marcus Garvey Centre, and attracted almost 40 Afro-Caribbean and Asian men and women from all over the country. Aiming to raise awareness of some of the key areas of community radio such as training, fund-raising, operational and management structures, and programming,the conference organisers invited prominent figures in the field to contribute to leading the debate.

On the day, the conference revealed the breadth and depth of experience in the black communities. It provided the CRA with much to think about, as well as demonstrating the amount of work we have to do as an organisation to come to grips with some of the issues concerned. Some conference organisers expressed disappointment that the gathering was not as large as hoped, but were confident that the conference was a first, not a last, step.

Dr. Muhammad Anwar
After a morning session in which the most interesting and entertaining contribution came from Cecil Morris of People's Community Radio Link (PCRL), an unlicensed station in Birmingham, the conference went into an afternoon of workshops. The morning session was informative, with Dr. Muhammad Anwar of the Commission for Racial Equality impressing upon those present the diversity of the black communities' programming needs. His research, documented in his books "Ethnic Minority Broadcasting" and "Who tunes into what?" have proved, with echoes in the 1988 Broadcasting Research Unit report "The Listener Speaks".

CRA Chair, Steve Byrom, spoke about the CRA's respected status in political circles and emphasised that it had always been an aim of the organisation to treat the needs of the Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities as a priority. Referring to the unlicensed sector, he recognised their contribution to the debate and spoke of the CRA's flexible attitude towards them, evidenced by the decision at the Bristol AGM to allow them into membership of the CRA providing they accept the Code of Practice.

 White Paper heralds 1990 radio legislation  

The White Paper on Broadcasting, published this year, brings the new era of radio one step closer to realisation. The White Paper will form the basis for a major Broadcasting Bill to be introduced in the 1989 to 1990 parliamentary session.

Plans for a separate Radio Bill were shelved last year. Now the Government plans to introduce new radio legislation concurrently with major reforms of the structure of television broadcasting.
The White Paper reiterates the Government's intention to introduce a new "light touch" Radio Authority to oversee an expansion and diversification of the radio industry. It will include plans for several hundred new community and local radio stations.

The Broadcasting Bill will be a substantial piece of legislation with a separate section to deal specifically with radio. It is unlikely to receive Royal Assent before summer 1990, but a shadow Radio Authority could already be in place by then to deal with preliminary issues such as frequency allocation and applications procedure.
The first licences would be on offer in late 1990 with the first stations under the new regime coming on air in 1991.

16.8.16

Pilot speaks while off-air in 1989

Pilot presenting 'Talk-Back' 1992
With PCRL being off the air I'm sure that you"re thinking we're lazing around doing nothing well chance would be a fine thing.

While we are off the air there is still the office to run because our Gift Shop is still open for sale of our paraphernalia and also of course doubling up as an Information Centre.

With the application pending we are at this present moment forming a working party consisting of people who have the knowledge and background to present our application for a Broadcasting Licence in the strongest possible light. This particular committee has been meeting once, sometimes twice, per week in meetings lasting at least 4 hours duration and I'll tell you, you feel pretty tired after one of these meetings.

Being off the Air also creates another problem, how do you keep the presenters interested? What we try to do is to hold regular staff meetings so as everyone knows what is going on but still it is a very difficult task.

Some of our Presenters are attending the Community Radio Training Course (CRT) to enhance their Broadcasting skills, they are working very hard to attain their certificates in Broadcasting Proficiency I'm sure that a lot of their training will reflect in forthcoming programmes.

Before I close it must not be forgotten the hard work that has gone in to putting this magazine together, if I went into that it would take another page. So as you can see there is a lot going on behind the scene!         By Pilot

(taken from PCRL's Off Air Bulletin magazine - 1989) Sadly though it was not to be - Ed


Inside PCRL
Many people ask me how is PCRL run? How do we maintain discipline within the ranks? Are there rules to abide by? Who decides who does what?

I could take quite a long time to answer these questions but I'll try and keep it short. First of all when PCRL first started it was obviously run by the Founder Member, (Music Cecil Morris Master) I have to say it was very difficult 4 years ago but everyone at that time as enthusiastic about the project and had the same aim of becoming legal.

Gradually, the original team started to break up and new people joined the organisation, this presented problems. One of the major ones was the fact that some of the people who joined did not know the unwritten rules of the organisation.

We all got together as a group and came up with a document which is called 'The Code of Conduct' which is still in operation today it also forms the basis of discipline within the ranks.

PCRL has been through various crisis where the very foundations has been stretched to the limit, but I am glad to say that we have survived them all mind you, can anybody tell me of an organisation which exists on volunteers that hasn't had its turmoils? Bet you can't.

Where rules are concerned, which do not appear in The Code of Conduct, the main one is Presenters must not! say anything on Air to upset our Listeners or anything that could be detrimental to any particular Group or Groups.

For the past 2 years PCRL has been run by what is called a Council of Management, this Group was formed to make policy, steer the organisation in (hopefully) the right direction, keep up morale and most important to inform Presenters on whats happening.

Meetings are held once a month and let me say these can be very fiery sometimes with so many different opinions coming into the arena but at the end of the day common sense must prevail, I can safely say that All Presenters are well informed.


One great thing about meetings is that they create some really funny moments and they are also a morale booster, I might tell you about some of those funny moments at a later date anyway you know a little bit more about inside PCRL. - Pilot

14.8.16

We applied to be legal

We did go 'off air' in 1989 to apply for this licence, but it was given to Buzz FM, that only lasted 6 months and was sold for £1.


3.7.16

Pirates who keep one step ahead

November 17th. c.1988 Sandwell Evening News (Maureen Messent)

'They are communication in a way no other station can, filling a gap'


Pirates who keep one step ahead

  "Carlton C" is hunting through letters of support to find the telephone. He picks it up in the Dudley Road, Winson Green, office, listens a while, then speaks. 
  "Don't believe the rumours," he says. "We'll be back soon."
  The room above an empty shop is HQ for People's Community Radio Line, the pirate radio station silenced from its spot on 103.5 FM since last week when they removed their transmitter from the tower of Winson Green church. The Rev Richard Bashford, vicar of Winson Green, had been its willing host.
  The move was nothing new to these die hard pirates of the airwaves.
Their mastermind — known as Music Master over the air — points out that they have had to move their radio equipment about 200 times since 1981, been raided 67 times in the last 19 months by the Department of Trade and Industry's officials.

Valuable service
  He's black, gentle, helpful. And a bit hurt that what he and his 21 presenters see as a valuable service to the community is breaking the law.
  PCRL broadcasts — for as long as it can keep a leap ahead of the Department of Trade and Industry —  for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Its programmes are n combination of Afro-Caribbean music, community notices, advice, home and health hints, news from
  It claims a listenership of more than 250.000 in Birmingham and surrounding areas, and has a following in Leicestershire.
Its presenters are volunteers. Those that have regular employment say they pay a little in support of the station. "And look at those," says Music Master, pointing at some beautiful wooden clocks, in the shape of the Caribbean islands. "We're helping a small business to get known by broadcasting advertisements for them. When they'll start to pay us. "Blacks get only five hours on Radio WM per week, BRMB broadcasts two-and-a-half hours per week for blacks and Asians. And that's mainly music.  It's not sufficient for the people who like PCRL, nor is it so informative and varied. "Our people are often out of work, which means they don't have money to buy the records that would keep them abreast of our ethnic music, a great link with our roots.

Great support
"We are keeping them in touch this way and telling them of events within our own community.
"We have used an Asian presenter, receive great support from Asians. We get letters from hundreds of white people who enjoy our music.
"We also broadcast religious programmes. So what's so bad about us? why should be hounded like this? I see us more as radio social workers than law-breaker."
  This view is echoed by the Rev Richard Bashford, PCRL's transmitter host until the diocese pointed out could not condone law-breaking.
"This station is providing a voice for a section of the community who wouldn't otherwise be heard," says Mr Bashford.
  Some nights, requests are played for John the Godfather, alias the Rev John Geyer, a United Reform Church minister from Weoley Hill, whose church council supports PCRL.
"I think it is vital that the station be granted a licence," says Mr Geyer, "even though I know the legal difficulties.
"This is the voice of the inner-city now. It could be used for enormous good in times of trouble.
"They are communication in a way nor other station can, filling a large gap, I've found them sincere people of integrity, motivated by genuine desire to help their community and all those who listen to them.
"I know they have support from sections of the West Midlands Police.
"I can only hope that public opinion will encourage the government to issue a licence as a special case -- and this is what I'm campaigning for."
  Music Master points out that they have equipment confiscated time and time again by Department of Trade and Industry "boarders".
"But each time the community rally round, to help replace it" he says.

Plans Shelved
  PCRL claim that BRMB, dismayed by their success, is behind the raids.
"That's simply untrue," says a spokesman for the Trade and Industry Department in London.
"Local stations like BRMB in Birmingham, and Capitol in London, are either independents or part of the BBC. They are licenced by the department.
"Any station broadcasting without that licence is in breach of the Wireless and Telegraphy Acts, 1959 and 1967.
"There is nothing that can be done to help PCRL until community radio licences are issued. No matter how much support they have in Birmingham, they are just like any other pirate station - but more persistent.
"I'm afraid they must wait for community radio licences before they can operate legally.
"In the meantime, it must be remembered they are using airwaves which might be needed for important emergency services or military operations."
  Back in Dudley Road, Music Master and Carlton C are unbowed.
"The said the same about CB radios before they were legalised," they say. "But we have a service to perform and perform it we will."
  At BRMB, managing director Mr Ian Rufus said PCRL were a "minor irritation."
"But we'd like them off the air." he said. "We have to pay something in the region of £300,000 a year rental for our transmitters which is supposed to guarantee our right to be the city's only commercial station.

Last Word
"They interfere with places on the broadcasting system allocated to legal stations and they pay no royalties to companies for using their discs."
  Last word came from Dudley Road.
"We are just asking for the chance. Give us the licence and we will pay whatever's needed from us."
Meanwhile, a lot of fingers are swinging dials for the first sounds from the relocated pirates on 103.5 FM.