Listeners' concerns over station

DISGRUNTLED listeners have called on radio bosses to meet with them to discuss their concerns over how a station is being run.

A new group, led by Hartlepool man Stuart White, has organised a public meeting to discuss the future of Radio Hartlepool, which operates from its base in York Road.

The group is called Hartlepool Wants Its Radio Station To Be For The Community and members want clarification and assurances on a number of Radio Hartlepool's key commitments to regulator Ofcom.

A Radio Hartlepool spokesman told the Mail the station was doing

everything "above board" to satisfy Ofcom.

Members of the new group claim the station has never held an annual general meeting, does not employ a community liaison officer, does not play music from the 1930s, 40s and 50s or have an equal opportunities policy, as highlighted in the key commitments.

Concerns have also been raised about the station's two breaches of Ofcom regulations.

Jim Gillespie, a Radio Hartlepool board member, said: "Radio Hartlepool is doing everything properly and above board to satisfy Ofcom requirements.

"Similarly our accounts are lodged with Companies House and they are freely available for any member of the public to view."

He also confirmed that AGMs had been held in 2009 and 2010 and there will be one this year once the details have been confirmed.

Mr White, 39, who worked at the radio station on the production and administration side for two years, said: "We are hoping for an open and constructive meeting with the board members of Radio Hartlepool.

"We would hope that this leads to increased transparency and accountability to the public regarding finances and their key commitments."

A statement released by the group added: "The station, in just over two years from launch, has lost many key talented individuals who have become unhappy and disappointed with the way Radio Hartlepool is ran."

Mr Gillespie confirmed that board members would not be attending the meeting.

Radio Hartlepool has a five-year community licence and is available on the 102.4 FM frequency.

The public meeting is due to take place at the Hartlepool Peoples Centre, in Raby Road, on Tuesday, January 25, between 7pm-9pm.