‘‘Monmouthshire’s own community radio station is long overdue"

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WORLD RADIO DAY 2021 - February 13 2021

‘‘Monmouthshire’s own community radio station is long overdue,’’ says Liberal Democrat Senedd Candidate

Local radio enthusiasts, volunteers, community representatives and business leaders asked to ‘‘step up to the microphone’’ to connect Monmouthshire communities and combat Covid-related isolation.

On World Radio Day 2021, the Liberal Democrat Senedd Candidate for South East Wales is calling for a new community radio station for Monmouthshire to combat Covid-related loneliness and sense of isolation.

In an appeal to Monmouthshire’s radio enthusiasts, volunteers, community representatives and business leaders to form a not-for-profit Radio Monmouthshire registered company, Councillor Watkins said:

‘‘Monmouthshire is in a strong position to be considered for a community radio broadcast licence. A concerted effort to win a broadcast licence is long overdue. It’s time for Monmouthshire to step up to the microphone.’’
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The Lib Dem Senedd Candidate and Monmouthshire CC councillor for Caldicot sees community radio station as much more than just a platform for playing music:
‘’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,’’ said Jo Watkins.

In some parts of Monmouthshire, such as Llanelly Hill, Ragan and St Arvans, over 25% of residents are over 65 years. This is the age group that is most vulnerable to both Covid and to feeling socially isolation and 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, ‘’ said Jo Watkins.

‘‘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,’’ added Councillor Watkins.

Councillor Watkins believes that community radio also provides excellent opportunities for volunteering and for skills development:

‘‘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.’’