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5 live Budget Day: Chorley and Falmouth

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Imogen Crump Imogen Crump | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 23 March 2011


The Covered Market in Chorley

The Covered Market in Chorley

A head shot of 5 live's Judy Hobson

"We'd like to adopt a town," I'm told. It's two o'clock on a Thursday afternoon and I'm slightly taken aback by the request. What? Like adopting an endangered species in a zoo I wonder?

"What sort of town?", I ask.

"Well, one we can follow after the budget over the coming months to see how they fare economically". Ah, I get it now...

I'm 5 live's North West of England reporter so I know just about every town in the region. So which one do I choose? Liverpool is diverse but maybe too big. Buxton is interesting but maybe too small.

I look at a map of the North West and consider a dozen more. Suddenly I spot the right one - Chorley. It's a medium-sized market town in Lancashire with a mixed population, and they are doing their best to fight the economic downturn. Since April last year, 51 new businesses have set up in the town.

Unless you were a fan of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights (...Chorley FM anyone?) you might not know much about the town. Its wealth was built principally on the cotton industry. Until fairly recently the Royal Ordnance Factory, a large munitions factory a couple of miles from the town centre, employed thousands. But it doesn't exist now.

Despite the closure of many major factories, and the associated economic hardship this has caused, the people of Chorley are undoubtedly cheerful. In fact the council has launched the Chorley Smile Campaign, inviting its residents to grin as much as they can to give themselves a sense of well being. As far as I can see it it's working. Everyone has been exceptionally friendly to me during my research.

From Wednesday, Budget Day, 5 live will be in Chorley asking people how they think they'll be affected and we'll be returning regularly over the next year to see how things are going.

We'll ask taxi drivers how the price of fuel is affecting business. We'll speak to landlords about tax on drinks and we'll be asking parents and students how the state of the UK economy is affecting them.

Ruth has three part-time jobs and is worried about meeting her mortgage payments. Gwynne is 63 and comfortable but he's worried about the future of his children and grand-children. And Cathy is concerned that her grand-daughter will not be able to afford to go to university.

We'll look at who is doing well in today's economy and who is struggling and why. Together with opinions from our other adopted town Falmouth, 5 live hopes the people of Chorley will help to give us a regular snapshot of what they believe is the state of their country and their future.

Judy Hobson is 5 live's North West of England reporter


A view of Falmouth from the water

A view of Falmouth's Custom House from the water courtesy of Paul Watts

A head shot of 5 live's Sarah Ransome

Standing on the dockside in the early spring sunshine and looking out over the rippling waves of the world's third deepest natural harbour it's not hard to see why holidaymakers head to Falmouth on the south coast of Cornwall. The 21 thousand or so people that live and work in the town have grown used to seeing cruise liners regularly tie up. And as thoughts turn to icecream and suncream, they see their seaside home transform into a bustling marine resort attracting sun seekers, second homeowners and sailors alike.

So why am I here on the quayside ? Well, not just to admire the view. Over the next twelve months, 5 live will be testing the economic temperature away from the corridors of Westminster to try and find out what kind of impact political decisions in Whitehall really have on the day-to-day lives of people living hundreds of miles away. And while sometimes here in Cornwall you really can feel like you've got away from it all - just like anywhere else, you can't escape the ripple effect of the global downturn or the decisions taken in the capital to try and get the economy back on track .

Here, the sea has always played an important part in keeping Falmouth's economy afloat. These marinas will start to buzz soon heralding the start of another summer season - thousand of tourists head west to sunbathe on the golden sand of the town's beaches, meander through the narrow streets or just sample the soft Cornish air. Tourism is the economic backbone of this university town.

A street scene in Falmouth courtesy of Trevor Burrows

A street scene in Falmouth courtesy of Trevor Burrows

Large tankers are also a familiar sight in the harbour. Falmouth is home to Cornwall's largest port. As one of the town's largest employers it's been part of the area's maritime history for the last 400 years and is looking to expand bringing the possibility of new jobs on the horizon if the plans get passed. Not far from the dockside is the relatively new University College Falmouth. With the influx of students has come new building, new money and a new nightlife.

So on the face of it you'd be forgiven all is well. But according to business experts, scratch the surface and you find parts of the town are really struggling.Tourism is seasonal and just like many other places that rely on holiday makers to spend, spend, spend when the schools go back or the belt tightening begins ... so the tills stop ringing quite. The town has seen European money pumped in but set against a backdrop of a global downturn it's a difficult time to attract inward investment.

It also means there's been a drop off in boat and property maintenance. Look on the outskirts and you'll see under-developed or unused industrial sites. Patchy transport links don't help. The credit crunch cocktail of low wages, the lack of good jobs and high house prices means lots of young people feel the need to move away..

So according to the experts this is a seaside town that's firmly caught up in the economic ebb and flow. It still has plenty to shout about but with the current squeeze on everyone's back pocket, it's not always able to capitalise on what it's got.

Sarah Ransome is 5 live's South West of England reporter.


  • Comment number 1.

    Falmouth, good. Chorley, predictable as it is in - the North West. Grrrrrrrr.

  • Comment number 2.

    East Anglia anyone? Nice to hear from the South West for once.

    5Live is MASSIVELY overdoing its coverage from the North West and North East.

    Scotland? Wales? South of England? Kent even?

  • Comment number 3.

    "Phoenix Nights" featured Chorley FM but was actually set in Bolton (however, Dave Spikey's other series "Dead Man Weds" was filmed here). The town was also an inspiration for The League of Gentlemen's Royston Vasey!

  • Comment number 4.

    Ian, thank you for your comment. It is now firmly corrected.

  • Comment number 5.

    Finally it is recognised that not all of the South is a prosperous as the usual 'North South Divide' headline suggests it is. My blood always boils when i see news articles that talk bout the divide but never recognise that Cornwall is very much a 2nd class citizen, in terms of wages, quality of jobs, funding of public services, etc...in the South of the country.

  • Comment number 6.

    As ryanw says, and 28daysearlier also points out, the north/south divide is inaccurate. East Anglia has very poor infrastructure, has virtually no mention unless it's a murder or a traffic hold up on the A14, and Save the Children analysed data for local authorities across the UK, which shows that: "in 29 areas more than one in five children lives in severe poverty. In Norfolk, the figure is 11pc, in Suffolk 10pc and in Cambridgeshire 9pc. But the countywide figures mask more localised hotspots, where child poverty rates are considerably higher - including Great Yarmouth and parts of Norwich."
    Next time you are looking for an area to focus on, could you at least try to find Liverpool Street Station, because after the move to Salford it will be Chorley, Preston, Blackburn, Bolton..................

  • Comment number 7.

    Carrie, I think you hit the nail on the head... it's too difficult to travel from Manchester to East Anglia.. so instead a lazy lesuirely drive 25 mile is the easy option. So much for the aspiration of being more representative of the UK... as I've said before 5Live is fast becoming 5Lancs.

    The 5Live Month is being held in the north again this year... pity anyone east or west.

  • Comment number 8.

    Chorley FM is not a fictitous creation by Peter Kay in fact Chorley FM has been broadcasting to the good people of Chorley with a full community licence since 2006.
    It's run entirely by volunteers. You can listen on-line www.chorley.fm
    We have over 57 volunteers giving their time to produce their own shows, promoting community events and specialised music slots.
    Welcome to Chorley 5Live
    102.8 Chorley FM

  • Comment number 9.

    What about the West Midlands? The second-largest urban area in the UK, and ignored again.

    Is the Midlands really so amonymous? It seems southerners see us as 'northern', and northerners see us as 'southern'. Perhaps we need an assembly of our own here, so we can do more to raise our own profile and make our own decisions.

  • Comment number 10.

    Well said mananon in post No. 9.After being a 5live listener for many years when it was a well respected and a proper journalistic BBC radio station, I have totally given up listening to 5live except for some extremely rare occasions , not only because of it's poor presenters and trivia but also the fact that a large area such as the West Midlands is either ignored ( together with other notable parts of the country with listener potentail or interest ) or has been put there purely to be sneered at by the first Londoncentric but now alternatively by the Manchestercentric 5live.I am sick to death of hearing about Manchester and the north west !! Give the rest of the country a break !

  • Comment number 11.

    Totally agree with 9 and 10. Just go on about East Anglia because it is never mentioned. I am from the Black Country originally and totally agree with you mananon and Binkie.

    It has been a bit dumbed down. Been listening to the Budget for donkey's years and the idea that this style was a good way to impart info affecting us all was typically shortsighted. I am afraid there was no gravity in any of the insights provided even by Pienaar, which is disappointing.

  • Comment number 12.

    "Analysis and reaction to the Chancellor's Budget speech presented by Martha Kearney and Winifred Robinson." OR Richard Bacon.

    Pretty clear choice.

  • Comment number 13.

    You have to question just how many times can they get it so wrong. Bacon this afternoon was embarrassing. He was only interested in twitter and the fact that they were being filmed. Blue Peter presents the budget. You feel so sorry for Piennar and the other guy trying to present against this comedy background. AVK you must come to your senses. Dump him!

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm sure Richard Bacon has the ability, he just doesn't have the gravitas, attention or interest to cover these big events with any authority and inevitably it always comes back to him. He's being filmed, his tweeting, his friends etc. Tiresome.

  • Comment number 15.

    You know I just wonder, if Carrie is an employee of 5 live. Notice how she is always there to post first on the blog. Does she get tipped off by 5 live? She always there. She must have plenty of free time too.
    Notice how the other regulars take up the theme which Carrie has fixed on. They just say hear, hear!
    Just because these people complain all the time, it does n't mean that their comments are invalid. What do they say? Well 5live has chosen two places -one in the North West and another in the South West. A scandal? Well clearly there are are other places in the country therefore 5live must be prejudiced.
    How could Carrie be an employee of 5live-well a sort of agent provocateur -someone with preposterous, savage opinions who will stir things up.
    It is possible. Alternatively these posters could just be a group of grumblers
    There are many things that I do not like - radio stations which are not my taste I do not suggest that things that I don't like are objectively bad. If you are going to suggest that then you have to make out arguments and reasoning. This is what these regular posters do not do.
    They don't like 5live that's all there is to it.
    Dear old 5live gives these people space to air their sadly vacuous comments.
    However, some of them have been at this for many years.
    They don't seem to have got any better.
    Call them just colourful excentrics. As Carrie says, 5live does n't take any notice of what we say.

  • Comment number 16.

    coreze, if you can't see by now that the people who post on here love 5Live but not the way it is going, then you are not looking hard enough. If we didn't like it we wouldn't say the things we do.

    And what is wrong with reminding the BBC that millions of people live rural lives, or live in places never chosen for any kind of programme subject? Nothing. Point proved with Falmouth, although there is a very strong worry even within the BBC that the sheer cost of moving 5Live to Salford will cause a downward ripple of cuts and the end result will be that 5Live particularly will become North West orientated in its outreach for programme participants as it will be cheaper. Salford is cut off from everywhere and the logical place to have moved to was Birmingham, a hub. Any article in many media columns on this subject will throw this cost problem up.

    Today we hear £1.1 BILLION of licencepayers money will be used to plug their pensions black hole, plus shutting down the overnight services on mainstream TV to save money. If you care about that you should have a place you can talk about it, which is why some people on here criticise the BBC, and one of its drains, which is the expensive move to Salford, it will be ongoing for many years as they will have to continue all those travel and living costs for those not wishing to move permanently.

    I had connections with the BBC but I am not an employee. I keep this page open on my computer, where I have working day attached to it, in my home.

    Understand please, people are trying to be constructive!

  • Comment number 17.

    "if you can't see by now that the people who post on here love 5Live but not the way it is going, then you are not looking hard enough. If we didn't like it we wouldn't say the things we do"

    Twaddle,most posters on here who bombard this blog with anti-5live rhethoric always write stuff along the lines of " i never to listen to 5live but" how can these people "love" 5live if they hardly listen to it, indeed why do such posters bother posting their negative claptrap when they themselves adit they hardly listen to the station.

  • Comment number 18.

    Good word, twaddle.

    I don't think I have ever said "i never to listen to 5live but" although it is true that some people do.

  • Comment number 19.

    16. At 12:35pm on 24th Mar 2011, carrie wrote:
    coreze, if you can't see by now that the people who post on here love 5Live but not the way it is going, then you are not looking hard enough. If we didn't like it we wouldn't say the things we do.

    And what is wrong with reminding the BBC that millions of people live rural lives, or live in places never chosen for any kind of programme subject? Nothing. Point proved with Falmouth, although there is a very strong worry even within the BBC that the sheer cost of moving 5Live to Salford will cause a downward ripple of cuts and the end result will be that 5Live particularly will become North West orientated in its outreach for programme participants as it will be cheaper. Salford is cut off from everywhere and the logical place to have moved to was Birmingham, a hub. Any article in many media columns on this subject will throw this cost problem up.

    Today we hear £1.1 BILLION of licencepayers money will be used to plug their pensions black hole, plus shutting down the overnight services on mainstream TV to save money. If you care about that you should have a place you can talk about it, which is why some people on here criticise the BBC, and one of its drains, which is the expensive move to Salford, it will be ongoing for many years as they will have to continue all those travel and living costs for those not wishing to move permanently.

    I had connections with the BBC but I am not an employee. I keep this page open on my computer, where I have working day attached to it, in my home.

    Understand please, people are trying to be constructive!


    Well said Carrie

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    "Carry on commenting Carrie"

    I echo your sentiment, i do enjoy reading posts by Carrie,however to label posters who disagree with your views as "attack dogs" is complete and utter tosh, the point is 5live broadcasts quality Programs throughout its schedule,this is reflected in high listening figures.

  • Comment number 22.

    Just noticed that the personal and incoherent babble of post 15 has been referred and I should think so too.

  • Comment number 23.

    Morning All,

    We seem to have drifted somewhat from the original post - but there are some bits and pieces on here I'll come back on.

    cfmbarbara - thanks for your post. Am glad that volunteer-run Chorley FM is happy with the mention (in its correct form, I apologise for the earlier mistake.)

    28daysearlier - "Finally it is recognised that not all of the South is a prosperous as the usual 'North South Divide' headline suggests it is". That was basically the point. To move away from some of the stereotypes and look at which areas were affected by what particular issues. Did you hear any of Chris Mason's stuff from Falmouth? It's on John Pienaar podcast if you missed it - here's the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/pienaar

    carrie - as I'm sure you're aware, all of our RJs live local to their patch - so it's not a matter of choosing a broadcast location based on a commute from London. Also, regarding your concerns about the coverage in East Anglia. I've just been back to have a look at some of our coverage over the last year:

    *As part of a Breakfast preview of the Budget - our small business and fuel perspectives came from Braintree in Essex.

    *Two weeks ago, Stephen Chittenden broadcast throughout Breakfast about Britain's biggest ever civil emergency exercise in Great Yarmouth.

    *In February, Stephen also went to the Bure Valley School in Norfolk (UK's largest primary class which has 70 children in one class) and then looked at the issue of class size throughout the programme.

    *In October last year, as part of our coverage of the spending cuts, Stephen was at the University of East Anglia in Norwich looking at the increase in student fees.

    *In December, Lesley Ashmall was in Sheringham looking at the campaign to stop big supermarkets in the area.

    *Lesley also went to look at the issue of "care farms" in East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk GPs referring patients who suffer a mental illness to a farm to work outside)

    *Mid-last year, we looked at mass production effect on farming just outside Great Yarmouth.

    *And we were located in the constituencies of Norwich North and South (where the former Home Secretary Charles Clarke lost to the Lib Dems) as part of our election coverage.

    mananon - regarding the West Midlands. Phil Mackie is 5 live's dedicated West Midlands reporter. But additionally we've also done some bigger programmes in the area over the last 12 months:

    * Shelagh Fogarty presented Breakfast live from Steelhouse police station in central Birmingham on the 19th November, along with West Midlands reporter Phil Mackie, who had unprecedented access to West Midlands Police's Counter Terrorism Unit

    * Phil Williams visited Coventry for Weekend Breakfast on the 14th of November, to mark the 70th anniversary of the German blitz on the city.

    * Victoria Derbyshire presented a live audience programme from the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham in October.

    * And in April of last year, Drive reviewed the GDP figures purely from the perspective of the Black Country - focusing on the constituency of Dudley South in the West Midlands

    Binkie Huckaback - coreze's post has been referred. As has yours for being unncessarily rude.

    fedster - "...posters on here who bombard this blog with anti-5live rhethoric always write stuff along the lines of " i never to listen to 5live but" how can these people "love" 5live if they hardly listen to it." Yes, it sometimes feels that way...

  • Comment number 24.

    Thank you Ms Crump and I have absolutely problem with you removing my post if you found it offensive, just so long as you are even handed and remove permanently the post 15 by coreze which was an unneccessary personal attack on others who contribute.

    Yes you are quite right that VD presented a programme from Birmingham last October but if my calculations are correct that will be nearly six months ago ! After all it well known that Birmingham is and always will be ' the second city ' so I would have thought that it have a much higher profile on 5live instead of the constant bombardment of Manchester and the North West.Please address this and other neglected areas please.For such a large area as the West Midlands 5live is really not giving it the proper recognition it deserves.We are not all here to be sneered at by the Londoncentric and now Manchestercentric 5live.

  • Comment number 25.

    Well said Binkie.I've only just started having 5live on in the office and there seems to be a terrible bias towards London and the North West.Thankfully others on this blog have also noticed.

  • Comment number 26.

    Adding up to how many minutes in East Anglia? And why don't they have a dedicated reporter? I don't care how long your list is Imogen, many large chunks of the British Isles including East Anglia that get a mention.

    Contrary to opinion, I reiterate, I do love most of 5Live.

  • Comment number 27.

    sorry......many large chunks of the British Isles including East Anglia hardly get a mention.

  • Comment number 28.

    "Contrary to opinion, I reiterate, I do love most of 5Live"

    Sorry but i couldn't resist, the above statement has to be a joke,Carrie you have a strange way of showing your love for 5live.

  • Comment number 29.

    But I do.

  • Comment number 30.

    I see that my post 15 has been referred. The only thing offensive in it could be the word vacuous as in ' sadly vacuous posts ' of the regulars. Vacuous has several meanings. The meaning that I intended was the meaning 'empty'. If you want to see an empty post just look at Carrie's opening post for the next blog. It says nothing. However the followers of Carrie can take it as a hint of what line to follow. 'I did n't say anything' says Carrie,' I don't run down the people who work at 5live, well not much anyway, and not as much as some other people on these boards.'
    Do you know what, I despise these posters, not for making free comments not for being negative all the time, or very very nearly all the time, not for that. Not for that. In this case of locations chosen. It is a petty point. Obviously cost is a factor. They want two locations distant and different. A North West location has cost savings. Falmouth is a long way out. The motorway stops at Exeter. Therefore they have on location at Falmouth and another easier one at Chorley. There is no scandal. I see that Buxton was considered as a location. I would not call Buxton a North West place. It seems equidistant from Macclesfield and Sheffield. This location business is no scandal at all, I don't despise these posters for making a mountain out of nothing - not even a molehill. I don't despise them wasting people's time. Their noble story is that they feel that must accuse people of being in their view incompetent and unworthy.
    I DESPISE these posters because hidden behind their anonymity they make personal attacks on employees of 5live who can't answer back.
    That is not so noble. Let them talk their way out of their awful record.
    That is the reason why the boards should be closed.

  • Comment number 31.

    Chill - Coreze - you despise other posters? Shouldn't this blog be about 5 Live andnot your personal vendettas? i

  • Comment number 32.

    I have said that reasoning and argument can persuade people.

    Here is the wrong way. You don't like a station and so you point out things you don't like. That shows your likes and dislikes. It is not an argument to persuade people.

    Here is a way to persuade people. You point out things where the station compares unfavourably with another station.

    Here is an example 5live listening is 70 per cent male 30 per cent female. That shows a bias to men which is not reflected in other major stations.

    This is argument. It could be described as constructive. It is a way in which 5live can develop. It is not as easy as it sounds. Jenny Abramsky struggled with this as she admitted.

    The approach on the boards seems to be - 'I (poster) do not like this, and so I accuse people at 5live of incompetence, corruption and general uselessness and go on and on .'

    Just because you or me don't like something -it does n't mean that it is objectively bad. You might not like the sort of music that is playing or one of the DJs. This is petty lightweight criticism. Adults should be able to do better than that. If Carrie remembers Have A Go with Wilfred Pickles, she must must be at least as old as me, which is over 60.

    If these posters cannot do better, and it does n't look as if they can, let's close the boards.

  • Comment number 33.

    Good grief. Could we get back to what matters, which is a blog about "5 live’s programme makers, interactive team, editors and senior managers talk about the station and respond to listeners. Best bits, events, changes and announcements." It is not about posters, or what people think about posters.

  • Comment number 34.

    coreze I would be interested to read the article/be pointed at the online info concerning that male/female ratio.

  • Comment number 35.

    Hello again.

    Six years ago I was on the 5live message boards, and so was Carrie. She has years of experience of 5live.

    I was appalled that with all her years of experience and interest in 5live Carrie did not know that 5live is 50 per cent news and 50 per cent sport. This is from a recent post by Carrie to me. It is difficult to believe that she does n't know this. It is such a fundamental piece of knowledge about 5live - the way the station is, the way it was set up.

    5live is different from other stations in its makeup. This 50 percent news and 50 percent sport is not something that you will find elsewhere very easily.

    You may think as a reasonable possibility, that if there were less sport on 5live, then there would be more than 30 per cent of the listenership as women. This 30 per cent is low. What sort of stations have such low female listening? Rock music stations perhaps, but these are specialist stations.

    However, the 50/50 news/sport make up on 5live is not going to change, because that is how the station is set up. It would take a high level decision at BBC Trust level to change this.

    However, as a man, I think that 5live could do more to welcome women listeners. They a could a special week of publicity aimed at saying what 5live has to offer, and to aim it at people such as women who are not listening. I think that the level of 30 per cent could be raised a little. 40 per cent would seem a bit difficult considering the heavy emphasis on male sport.

    However, 5live is a successful station as the listening figures show. It may be possible to add a few extra women listeners without driving off male listeners. I will be laughed at for this but what comes into my mind is a publicity campaign such as "Women have you considered a career in engineering? Let us show you what engineering has to offer you." For engineering substitute 5live. You cannot stereotype of course. I am a man and I am not interested in programmes about professional sport, and don't listen to them, but a lot of people do.

    Now, the facts are that 5live is a radio station which is 50 per cent sport. Some people called it 5lite. That is not unreasonable because the news is diluted by 50 per cent. So is the sport of course. People like the combination. The listening figures show it. However, there are more comprehensive news stations- ones which are n't diluted. That is the way things are. There are more comprehensive sports stations, but I think that these are on television.

    In the next post, if I'm not closed down, I'm going to show you what alternative there is, and you will, I hope, be able to see what 5live has to offer in context.

  • Comment number 36.

    Hello again.

    Now, you may have tuned into a French radio station once or twice. Many people have. You may say, they speak too fast. Now, take a recording of, say, 3or 4 minutes, whatever you like. Now listen to the recording. Ah, you understand it better the second time. Now listen a third time, still an improvement, Listen a fourth time. It still improves. You understand it better. However after about the fifth time, it does n't improve. There is no point in listening to the recording anymore.

    We are getting somewhere. Take a fresh recording and once again you'll find that after listening five times, you'v got all that you can out of the recording. Take another and try again. Eventually after a few recordings you will find that you only need to hea in four times to get everything out of it. Keep going. Soon you will find that you only need three times then eventually only one time. In other word you hear it one time, and then you get everything you can out of it. In other words, they are not speaking too fast. You are listening at their normal speed. It takes about a couple of weeks to get up to the right listening sped.

    Now you are ready to tackle French stations. You'll need some vocabulary. You've probably got some already. Many words are the same in French and English, but the pronunciation is different. However, you have the ear now.

    There is a station called France Info. It started before 5live, and was in some ways a model. However, France Info does not have 50 per cent sport. It has a lot a things. It is part of Radio France, the French equivalent of BBC radio.

    However, there are a lot of other things too on French radio. However, as a listener for over twenty-five years to French radio, 5live has some things to offer. I love French radio. I think 5live is good too.

  • Comment number 37.

    @34 Carrie asked that she would be interested to find out about the 70 per cent 30 per cent male /female listening radio.

    Listen very closely, very closely. This person Carrie has said "google Rachel Burden's voice" .

    IF you google this question about the listening figures you'll find a lot more information than if you google what Carrie says.

  • Comment number 38.


  • Comment number 39.

    Imogen, laudable as your attempt might be I simply do not believe 5Live is giving large swathes of the UK a fair go.

    It's clearly touched a nerve as you went so far as to regale us with a short list of coverage from East Anglia....

    Just how many paltry minutes of airtime did this list amount to?

    And how much MORE coverage do you give other parts of the country?

    I'd also appreciate more information on your local broadcasters. Do they work exclusively for 5Live? How does 5Live try and achieve 'national' coverage? It seems we hear a whole lot more from some regions than others!

  • Comment number 40.

    Goodness! comments 36 & 37 - feel as if I'm back in my A Level English class discussing Virginia Woolf and stream of Consciousness - totallly surreal!

  • Comment number 41.

    Yes excellent post ryan.Whichever way Ms Crump tries to dress it up the fact is,is that it is crystal clear that 5live, as a national radio station, is failing great areas of the UK with its concentration on broadcasting towards London, the South East and now the North West.I would very much like to know what percentage of air time is given over to those regions compared to the rest of the country ?

    BTW as Ms Crump saw fit to remove my post 20 and not others ,who have only been referred, after reading some of the not only personal but unneccessarily rude diatribes on this blog by you know who, my remarks were obviously closer to the truth then I could ever have imagined and I feel fully vindicated for my good judgement.

  • Comment number 42.

    Imogen, I think you is unwise for you, in your professional capacity, to be dismissive of any of the comments on these blogs, positive or negative, the motives of the posters or their 'love' or otherwise of the station. This is a slippery slope and does nothing to raise the level of debate.

    "...posters on here who bombard this blog with anti-5live rhethoric always write stuff along the lines of " i never to listen to 5live but" how can these people "love" 5live if they hardly listen to it." Yes, it sometimes feels that way...

    Ever poster has a legitimate right to express their personal opinion, and in your professional capacity I don't think you should be seen to devalue any contribution or doubt a posters' 'love' of the station, regardless of whether you agree with it, or their contribution is critical.

    Indeed, a point lost on a few posters, and clearly you also, is that some of those who 'love' the station wish to see many aspects of the 'old' 5Live renewed, such as the see editorial standards upheld, the 'big personality project' shelved, trivalisation reversed and a return to quality, intelliegent broadcast journalism, brilliant breaking news coverage and compelling talk.

    Despite many attempts to ask AVK directly what his ambition is for 5Live there has been no clear articulation of his vision and instead the station has been progressively dumbed down by stealth.

    This progressive erosion of the 'old' 5Live obviously leads some to voice their opposition.

    If some of us knew that the ambition was to turn 5Live into an offshoot of Heat Magazine, with twitter-inspired trivalisation driving by big personalities short on substance we would look elsewhere.

    I am disappointed you seem to agree that those who are critical don't 'love' the station. Many do. They just don't like the direction it is heading. Down the pan.

  • Comment number 43.

    Binkie I thought it very unfair that Imogen ( post 23 ) chose to single you out for criticism and remove your post while the vitriolic post by coreze that said he despised other posters on here was only referred for further consideration.Really strange moderating.

  • Comment number 44.

    Hello again,
    This blog is due to close in a few days. I should like to give a few comments in conclusion.

    I want everybody to be happy. Are you all happy? Why not?

    Respect other people and you can respect yourself. If you work in an organisation you are entitled to respect, and if people harass you, and put you down, you are entitled to be protected against that, and if people write anonymous letters attacking you when you are just doing your job, then you regard such letters with contempt, and they go in the bin.

    That is what happens to the posts on these blogs.

    However, perhaps hidden in these anonymous letters is a genuine grievance. What could it be? It is difficult to find out. I've tried.

    Let me suggest what it can be. It is no good saying you don't like this or that. You've had a bad experience here or there. You have to make out a case. These posters don't do it. What can you say? You don't like a particular station or supermarket - go elsewhere, and good riddance some would say.

    Let me try to make out a case which makes sense, that people can take on board.

    When 5live was set up it filled in a slot vacated by the old Radio 5. The other half of the schedule was already in place - the sport programmes. As Jenny Abramsky said, "This is not the combination that I would have chosen" i.e news and sport. Although she recognised that sports events were often in the evening and weekends, which could fit with a weekday daytime news schedule.

    There is no doubt that 5live has been a success with listeners. It was a new type of station, and even the sports programmes which already existed benefitted from increased audiences.

    However Jenny Abramsky said that she could get women to listen to the station. The audience was mostly male. This is still the case.

    If a full news radio channel existed such as France Info, and if the sports programmes had their own station, then maybe the audience for the full news radio channel would serve both sexes better - a more equal listenership.

    That is what I would propose long term. It would cost more, but it could be done. France Info is not a station which has endless talks about politics, it must be said. It is a fast moving station which has a strong cultural, and general interest element. I can only suggest that you go to the France Info web site and click on 'chroniques', which means literally chronicles. This is one of the row of headings along the top. It is towards the right. This will show you the diversity of the things discussed.

    You could say that Franc Info is more of a full meal and that 5live of which only half is devoted to non-sports material, is more of a quick meal with fewer courses.

    However, 5live is a success, and it is a success because of the talent of the people who work there. They are heros and heroines who have made an unlikely combination of news and sport work.

    Well, folks that's about all there is to say. I've looked over a few of the comments of previous posters, and you know, they have nothing to say. It is as if they have learned a script, and cannot divert from it, even to the extent of rephrasing. You know, I make a bit of effort here, and it is dead, dead, dead with these posters. They really do seem destined to have their comments put in the bin.

  • Comment number 45.

    Coreze what is the point of your rambling, patronising and irrelevant comments? You clearly have too much time on your hands. Do us a favour and go and listen to one of your French radio stations and stop cluttering up this blog with your drivel and personal vendettas you have with other posters.

  • Comment number 46.

    Blimey I only registered to join the 5live blog/website a few days ago but after reading the ' coreze monologues ' I feel as though I have been transported into somekind of parallel universe.

  • Comment number 47.

    Without wishing to sound paranoid (!) I think coreze is trying to close the whole blog down by being so loopy Imogen and Nigel lose their patience with the idea of a blog and just shut it.

    I hope that actually they see we all mean well, most of us anyway. Thought Nolan did very well last night, loved his exchanges with the anarchist.

  • Comment number 48.

    In response to post 47, Carrie i already have said should star in the next segment of the Conspiracy on the Files on the BBC, the jist of what Coreze is trying to say clear, and for 1 agree with him/her.

  • Comment number 49.

    Clear ??
    Sorry folks but can't make head nor tail of Fedsters ( 48 ) post either.Are coreze and him both signed to the same label.....if you know what I mean ? I'm just going to make a run for it.I feel as though I am slowly being driven too madness trying to understand certain contributors.

  • Comment number 50.

    Would it be possible Imogen, to have some kind of vague timetable of reports from the two towns over the next year, are they going to be regular? I am very interested.

  • Comment number 51.

    Comment no. 47; agree with you, carrie about PH and the anarchist - entertaining albeit scary listening. You're not being paranoid - this is Groundhog day - you remember when a poster then known by the acronym OBWAT and/or The Gaffer was posting similar invective against posters using the now defunct Station Message board? the behaviour used then and now by this individual is known as trolling and should be ignored as in the advice given by some message boards "don't feed the trolls or the WUMs".

    Imogen or nigel - how is danny baker doing? Really hope he is responding well to treatment and will be back on 5 ive in the not too distant future.

  • Comment number 52.

    Hello again

    I did say that I had finished in my last post. However I do see that all my earlier posts have been taken out, maybe referred. It is not very encouraging for someone who is not a regular poster.

    For that reason I am going to say roughly what was in the posts. Let us see if this will be censored.

    I did say that Carrie seemed to get knowledge of the subject of these blogs before anyone else and is able to get her comment in first. Furthermore I noted her tendency to lead the discussion, with certain regulars taking up the theme that she started. I suggested that perhaps Carrie could even be working for the BBC orchestrating the discussion. How could that be? Well, by introducing topics that are so preposterous that the image of the station is not threatened. It is a little far-fetched put like that.

    However, if it were true, the comment might be deleted . If it were not true, it could stay.

    I dealt also with the substance of the allegation by Carrie - i.e. that 5live, or maybe the BBC in general is prejudiced against certain regions. The question was of selecting two towns. If you select Falmouth in the South West, then the requirement is for another town geographically different. Therefore East Anglia and even the Midlands would seem to be ruled out, as not sufficiently different geographically. Regions which could be ruled in would be the North of England and Scotland, and not Wales and Northern Ireland. It is obvious that Chorley is suitable. The reason that Chorley was chosen seems to be save costs. It is not so far from a main BBC centre at Manchester.

    No doubt some regions are given less attention than others by the BBC. However, you have to ask yourself as a customer, would other stations be any different? Falmouth is a long way out. If you you think as a customer, that another radio station or another supermarket would be better, then give them a go, try them out.
    That is the test of a reasonable complaint. Do you think it is better anywhere else, or are you being unreasonable?

    My argument put the question about the low proportion of female listeners. The test of a reasonable complaint is do you think it is better elsewhere? Is there another radio station or supermarket which has a greater proportion of women customers? Can you find one?

    I say the word 'complaint' but let us say argument or constructive comment, because Radio 5live is my favourite British radio station. However, I am a man, but I am not interested in sports programmes.

    I concluded the last post by saying sadly that the other posters on this blog,and on others seem to have learned a script, which they cannot divert from even to ad lib. They do not seem capable of thinking things out for themselves.

    I do not mean that people should agree with me. No, no. However, if you put a group of people together, you should have some diversity, some individuality. However, if you are at one of these big political party conferences, the proceedings are stage-managed. The posts look a bit like that. Are they stage-managed and orchestrated?

    I does n't make a bit of difference, but let's just see if this post is removed.

  • Comment number 53.

    Hello again,

    Now we know. I suggested that there may be people posters, working for the BBC on these boards. I said that look and see if my post raising this question is removed,

    The post was removed very quickly. Well, well now we know.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hello again,

    I've seen other message boards but this is something odd about this one. I will suggest again that the discussion is stage-managed with some BBC people acting as posters. Let's see how quickly this post is removed.

  • Comment number 55.

    Hello again,

    I looks as if it is Carrie who has referred my posts. None of them have been deleted, just referred. It does mean that I am not getting my view heard on the specific question of the BBC ignoring certain regions. Let's try again and she if she refers it next post.

  • Comment number 56.

    Hello again,

    Let's see if we can get through on the subject of the choice of BBC regions. The question is choosing two towns which are different. Having selected Falmouth in the South West, it is necessary to find another town geographically different. Therefore East Anglia, the Midlands, Wales, Northern Ireland would not be chosen. The North of England and Scotland would be suitable. Chorley is suitable geographically as are other places. It is obvious that Chorley was chosen to save cost, as it is near a main BBC centre in Manchester.

    On a broader question of BBC favouring certain regions, obviously this will be the case when the BBC has major centres in London and Manchester. However, on the specific question of Falmouth and Chorley they do their best to save costs.

    However, the question you can ask is would any other radio station be any different? Can you do any better going elsewhere? Can you find a better supermarket or radio station, because that is the test of what is a reasonable complaint. You expect a reasonable standard.

    On another question for comparison, I mentioned that 5live has a low proportion of female listeners. Is this a reasonable comment? Can you find better elsewhere? Can you find radio stations or supermarket with a higher proportion of female customers? The answer is yes, very easily.

    However, I would say that 5live is my favourite British radio station. I am a man, though, but I'm not interested in sports programmes, and 5live is 50 per cent sport.

    I have suggested how 5live could develop, looking at the example of France Info, and have a higher proportion of women listeners.

  • Comment number 57.

    I do not work for the BBC. Or the people handling complaints about posters. Please Imogen could you do something about this WUM before we lose our only links as outsiders in the world of 5Live?

    I want to know about the station and how it is working on its plans and programmes, not some rubbish about all of the above involving coreze.

  • Comment number 58.

    Hello again,

    Is Carrie crying out for help?

    You know, describing me as a WUM which means wind up merchant, seems to me to be grounds for referring her post to a moderator.

    We are big boys and girls, aged over sixty, we can behave like adults.

    I am going to continue to replace the material which I wrote and which Carrie has had referred. next post

  • Comment number 59.

    Hello again,

    What is stage management, a stage-managed discussion?

    With a group of people you get different opinions, a diversity. That's what people are like. They are not all the same.

    I looked at the posts and I've done it before, and I said that this seems to be like people who have learnt a script. I thought previously of people following a party line. Then, I thought the comparison is with the big political party conferences. The proceedings are stage managed.

    I don't expect people to agree with me. I just expect them to be people who can think things out for themselves, and can express themselves freely.

    I have said, for example, that Sarnia has independent thoughts. She certainly will never agree with me about things, but that's fine. Sarnia is a real person and that's what we want.

  • Comment number 60.

    In all the years I have posted on messageboards and blogs via BBC websites, I have never complained secretly about any post. Tempted as I am.

    Get back to business please.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hello again,

    Well Carrie in that case, please accept my sincere apologies for accusing you of referring my posts. I mean it.

    As you can see, someone is going crazy referring all my posts. What is in them? Are they full of swear words? No, they just have an independent view.

    The last one raised the question of stage managed discussions as in the major party conferences. It did not accuse anyone of doing it. However it looks as if someone is closing down comments (my comments) just as they like. What sort of power do you have to have to do this? Is this a BBC employee who does it?

    I think it must be. In which case the boards are a sham. If not, someone is abusing the system.

    I shall try and find out.

  • Comment number 62.

    One of my comments was this - I suggest that there may be BBC employees on the board posing as posters and stage managing the discussion.

    It looks as if someone does n't like this comment.

  • Comment number 63.

    I notice that all the comments are referred but no decision taken.

    I have enquired today. There may reply to my enquiry, during working hours tomorrow, or maybe not.

    I've posted before many times, but this time it is different. There is a move to silence me. I did n't know that I was that important.

    Is it worth the effort?

    I've got a lot of other things to do.

  • Comment number 64.

    Hey, almost all my comments have got through the moderators now. They were n't so bad were they?

  • Comment number 65.

    Well, it's certainly been busy here in my absence, and we do seem to have drifted off into a slightly surreal world of suspicion.

    There does seem to be some confusion on here about how moderation works and who can refer posts to be moderated.

    So, to be clear - anyone can refer a post for moderation, including myself. We do not moderate posts ourselves here at 5 live. It is sent off to the moderations team. I have no influence/sway/involvement in the moderating process. Once a post has been looked at, the team will then decide whether there is a foundation to the complaint or not.

    I tend to refer posts that are unnecessarily rude, attack a poster's views on a more personal level, or use bad language.

    coreze - I can assure you (as far as I'm aware) that there are no "BBC employees on the board posing as posters and stage managing the discussion". You can recognise comments by BBC staff on the 5 live blog because they have a light grey background. These discussions/debates/disagreements do tend to wander off onto tangents a lot of time. I'd suggest that's just the nature of these responses rather than anything more sinister.

    Additionally, coreze is just as entitled to make comments here, as are the rest of you. However, coreze, it would be helpful to remain "on topic" and please watch the tone of your posts - I would suggest that's why they are being referred by other posters.

    GingerTompkins - if you are offended or upset by a post, please refer it. Anyone can.

    carrie - as far as I'm aware, we will be regularly returning to Falmouth and Chorley as "barometres" of the economy. If I have any further info, I'll get it to you.

    Re your comment, ryanw: "It's clearly touched a nerve as you went so far as to regale us with a short list of coverage from East Anglia...." I was actually just hoping to answer some of the questions posters, including yourself, had asked here.

  • Comment number 66.

    I think this one has had its time. New topic please Imogen. Or could we perhaps suggest one?

  • Comment number 67.

    I suggest everyone refers everyone else to moderation to stop what is little more than yet another trail (nothing else allowed) for the station

  • Comment number 68.

    Agree with you stumps, this blog needs freshening up, repetitive,tedious posts about moderation issues hardly sets the pulse racing does it.

  • Comment number 69.

    This has to be one of the most entertaining 5live blogs I have read in a long while and I can only commend and applaud Imogen in keeping an ' open house ' policy.Some of the views are obviously a little left field but compared to some of the other lame and boring blogs the forthright discussions were very welcome.Well done Imogen and I for one would like to express my thanks.There is absolutely nowhere else to discuss the many issues and concerns some listeners have with 5live.

  • Comment number 70.

    I for one would be interested to see some blog on how 5Live researches its audience and makes choices about some of the things and places it features. I don't mean a topical theme like the referendum, but just the main strands of our lives such as money, family and politics and how they affect the communities they choose to feature. How do they select? How do they find their contributors? On such magazine type pieces with the 5Live slant I think it would make an interesting blog for people to contribute to.


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