(The Voice November 15, 1988)
PIRATES SEEK LEGIT AIR-WAVE SLOTHome Secretary warns: ''Stay off the air"
But Disc jockeys on a pioneering black radio station are confident of getting the Home Office thumbs-up for their currently illegal broadcasts.
PCRL is among many stations set up by minority groups: "We intend to write to the Home Office asking them when can we apply. I Don't think they will go against us, given the work we have all been doing. "We are instrumental in bringing community radio about and getting the Government to consider community radio. The Community Radio Association we are a principle example of what community radio is all about. And I don't think the black Community will will stand for us not getting a licence."
PCRL plays a variety of black music, broadcasts public information and raises money for charities. It is one of two Afro-Caribbean stations in the city. "The Government doesn't seem sure how community radio will be run, but I don't think we will change it much." The Birmingham radio station is just one of hundreds up and down the country gearing up to apply for a licence after Mr Hurd announced two weeks ago that contracts for 20 community radio stations were up for grabs.
FastUnder the proposed legislation, there will be "fair competition" with exiting Independent local radio (ILR) services, and the whole plan is intended to "both broaden choice to the listener and provide useful experience for the future "Nevertheless the Home Secretary has repeated his warnings to 'pirate' that they will be barred from holding a licence. From January 1, 1989, anyone convicted of illegal broadcasting will be disqualified for 5 years from the proposed Radio Authority he said in Parliament.