The campaign originally started because of a large, and still growing, number of individuals who were, and still are, totally fed up with poor Radio reception, poor TV reception and especially with the lack of local news/events coverage. In the case of the latter, there is no radio or TV service that actually covers the whole county! In addition, there were many problems regarding switchover to Digital TV, & concerns regarding Digital Radio (DAB). These people therefore formed an Action Group to get something done.
The Action Group then formed an Executive Committee, which is strongly supported & chaired by Oliver Letwin MP. The Action Group Executive Committee also includes official representatives from Dorset County Council, all town/borough councils in West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland plus DAPTC, some Parish Council Chairmen, Dorset WI, Dorset CLA, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and a number of individuals & experts. Specifically:
- Oliver Letwin MP (Chairman)
- Dorset County Council
- Dorset Federation WI
- Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Dorset CLA
- Dorset NFU
- Dorset Rural LEP Group
- Portland Port
- Dorchester Town Council
- Bridport Town Council
- Beaminster Town Council
- Lyme Regis Town Council
- Sherborne Town Council
- Weymouth & Portland Borough Council
- Portland Town Council
- Chickerell Town Council
- Dorset Association of Parish & Town Councils(DAPTC)
- Some Parish Council Chairs
- A number of individuals & experts
What is DorBAG doing?
1) Driving change through the Executive Committee, lobbying BBC, Digital UK, Ofcom etc.
2) DorBAG designed a Questionnaire (with help from the BBC) that was sent out right across West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland (about 40,000) asking most residents ,for details of any problems or concerns at all regarding reception or lack of local News/events programmes on either radio, TV or both.
.3) On a positive note, the BBC asked DorBAG if it could include some other specific questions on the form, such that they will be sure of getting all the data they need for analysis prior, hopefully, to fixing our problems. This was done.
4) Questionnaire distribution started in May, 2005. The forms were distributed by the Town Councils and Dorset Association of Parish & Town Councils (DAPTC) which kindly agreed to mail them to all parish councils in West Dorset. All town & many parish councils sent out the forms.
5) DorBAG, apart from liaising with the BBC engineers in particular, also consulted with Digital UK & local technical experts to help understand/validate the results of the survey.
6) Nearly 4,000 completed survey forms that were returned (about 10%) were analysed using a data base. Oliver Letwin MP arranged a meeting with the broadcasting authorities in the House of Commons on 14th December, 2005 at which we presented the results of the survey. The survey confirmed that there are major problems in all areas, with 95% of respondents demanding local news and events coverage on TV and Radio! DorBAG was congratulated on the data and the BBC, Ofcom and Digital UK have since been working with DorBAG to investigate each issue.
This data has provided the platform on which to drive change and we thought we were making considerable progress – until the cancellation of the planned ‘BBC Radio Dorset’.
See “News Archive” to follow progress to-date – we have, until recently, been encouraged by the BBC’s positive attitude to solving our problems and we will continue to press for complete satisfaction in return for our licence fees