MP and council leaders demand answers over Minster FM closure – as petition reaches nearly 6K signatures

Photograph: Minster FM
1 Jun 2020 @ 8.00 pm
| News

A York MP and City of York Council leaders have written to Bauer Media to demand answers over its decision to close Minster FM.

The global company plans to axe the local presenters and absorb the station into its Greatest Hits Radio network in September.

Only news and travel will retain a local aspect.

Now MP Julian Sturdy, whose York Outer constituency includes Dunnington where the Minster FM studios are based, has written to Bauer’s group managing director Dee Ford.

In his letter, Mr Sturdy expresses his concern and that of his constituents about the decision.

It comes as the total number of people signing the petition heads towards the 6K mark.

Mr Sturdy writes: “Already in York listeners have the option to tune into many national or regional radio stations but opt for Minster FM for a truly local mix of music, news and trends.

“Local disc jockeys are much beloved personalities and Ben Fry, who presents the excellent Minster FMBreakfast Show, has even taken on the civic role of York’s Town Crier and was recently named Tourism Ambassador of the Year.”

‘Reconsider this decision’

Minster FM Breakfast Show presenter and Town Crier Ben Fry. Photograph: Rachel Rogers

Mr Sturdy goes on to say “Minster FM is really part of the soundtrack of our city, with many visitors to York first hearing the voice of David Dunning or Tim Lichfield as they enter their taxi from the railway station.”

And he asks Bauer to provide more information on:

  • the assessment that informed its decision to lose Minster FM
  • whether listeners can expect to be consulted further
  • if there will be a dedicated local news bulletin
  • and how comprehensive the news coverage will be.

Similarly council leader Keith Aspden and executive member for culture Darryl Smalley have written to Bauer MD Dee Ford.

In their letter they say: “Minster FM plays a vital role in our community and will be a significant loss for many residents who rely on it, including for the latest local news.

“Losing Minster FM will have an impact far beyond the loss of employment, and source of quality local news for residents. For decades Minster FM has contributed to our community spirit in York, for example through the Minister FM Local Hero Awards which every year recognises the achievements of our unsung community champions.

“We know that Minster FM have always taken their responsibility to York’s network of local businesses very seriously and have been fantastic at promoting other local services and businesses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are urging the leadership at Bauer Media Group UK to reconsider this decision and consider the full implications for our local community in York.”