Internal blog post

Well, hello.  Did you wonder if I had disappeared?  So first another apology for the rather sporadic appearance of my updates.  There are lots of reasons, but mostly they're good ones like a bit of holiday and working hard with our Board on company matters including the recent annual general meeting and subsequent general meeting.

So a lot has been going on.  Thank yous all round for everyone who played their part either behind the scenes or in front of the microphone at the street festival and the school awards, both great community events where I know from feedback we've received that we were greatly appreciated and I know that our listeners will have loved our coverage of both.  When I hear us bringing the colour of local events to listeners, I sometimes wonder "well why aren't they there instead of listening to the radio" and then I think about the elderly and infirm, people who have moved away from the area they love and people whose lives are too busy for one reason or another to get to every local event.

Of course we don't just cover these things on the radio.  Our social media coverage is just as important.  Thanks to those of you who help with our output on facebook and twitter.  Our facebook videos of the pilgrimage were viewed live and after the event some 5,000+ times.  If you want to try out your social media skills, get in touch with denise

In the hurly burly of day to day life, arranging OBs, presenting shows, posting on facebook, writing Board minutes, keeping our accounts, and so on, things we've done tend to get forgotten as history so it was a delight to help write our submission for "station of the year" at this year's Community Media Association Awards.  Do take a look here and you can listen to all of our entries here

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries and made great local radio which really made a difference.

Great news on the engineering front.  Please welcome Lawrence Card as our new engineering and IT team leader.  Lawrence is at the BBC in his day job and has pulled together a team which includes Ed Barradell, Matt Jones, Dave Adcock, and Dave Neal.  Thank you to them all.  So far, we have a new, lower cost, link from our studios to the transmitter, an automated backup of Myriad and new PC screens in the studios.  News to come includes a new fault reporting system, an upgrade to our legal logger (an Ofcom requirement) and replacement and rationalisation of PCs and servers.

On advertising, welcome new advertisers GPN Builders, the Meraki Festival, Rothamsted Research and the Harpenden Lions.  Congratulations Clive, Kerry and Phil.  Ye Olde Fighting Cocks are also continuing their support for us but will be working with us in a different way.

We're starting some work on corporate supporters (thank you Dave Neal and Mandy McNeil).  We'd also like to start a monthly newsletter for the people who have signed up to receive news from us.  There are some 400 email addresses now so if you'd like to help, let me know.  We're hoping to get a volunteer gathering together after the Summer break.  There's also a website drop-in help session planned for 7 August at 7pm.  If you'd like to come along, keep an eye on news here for the venue.

I know we can find the radio station, the way it is run, what change is happening worrying or frustrating at times.  Please don't, please to a Director or a team leader and share your concerns and ask for their feedback.  It might be that you won't like the answer but it is usually far less worrying to have clarity than to fret.  We genuinely want everyone to have a positive experience of volunteering with us...why volunteer if you are not enjoying it?  Your feedback might help us to formulate or adjust our plans.  Sometimes that won't be possible, but we should have a mature discussion about that and make our own decisions as a result.

If we don't change, we are not standing still, we are moving backwards so expect more change.  I know many people were very worried when two and a bit years ago we changed our music style and daytime format.  There were concerns that we would be beholden to advertisers and do less for the community as a result.  As our recent general meeting showed us, that concern remains for some people.  I think the concern is completely unfounded; there is absolutely no evidence that as a result of increasing revenues by over 50% we have in any way done less for the community.  Quite the reverse, we are now featuring more local people and organisations in our output and covering more events in the area.  Our website and social media are now relied on by many people in our area for information, and we have more volunteers than ever learning new skills and getting involved in the area they live in.  Read our CMA awards submission and then tell me if you still think we are doing the wrong thing.

On to company matters...we have a Board coming up on 12th July.  We'll be discussing engineering plans, our company articles, the recruitment of an operations manager, our volunteer policies, company membership policies, applying for a coverage area increase and our cashflow forecast.  If you have any points you'd like considered on any of these, please email me

Don't forget, you can become a member of the Company which allows you certain rights like calling a general meeting and attending general meetings and voting on certain matters

So, what did I miss?  Shout about what you've been doing, let me know.

Have a great summer break.