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'News: High Court Challenge To Ofcom's Local Radio Licence Award In Ashford Fails' by Grant Goddard

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News story about the failure of a High Court challenge to the award by UK media regulator Ofcom of a new local commercial FM radio licence in the Ashford market, written by Grant Goddard in August 2005 for The Radio Magazine.

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'News: High Court Challenge To Ofcom's Local Radio Licence Award In Ashford Fails' by Grant Goddard

  1. 1. NEWS: HIGH COURT CHALLENGE TO OFCOM'S LOCAL RADIO LICENCE AWARD IN ASHFORD FAILS by GRANT GODDARD www.grantgoddard.co.uk August 2005
  2. 2. News: High Court Challenge To Ofcom's Local Radio Licence Award In Ashford Fails Page 2 ©2005 Grant Goddard A legal challenge to UK media regulator Ofcom’s decision to award the Ashford licence to the Kent Messenger Group has failed in the High Court. Francis Wildman, leader of failed applicant 'A-Ten FM', will be left with substantial costs after Mr Justice Stanley Burnton rejected his plea that the award violated the basic human rights of Ashford residents to freely receive “information and ideas”. The judge said that Ofcom had given “adequate” reasons for its licence award and added: "There is nothing irrational or unfair in this decision." The judgement explained: "Mr Wildman is obviously passionately concerned to be involved in local commercial radio. He has devoted considerable time, energy and application to applications for licences and challenging the decisions of the authority responsible for the awards of licences. He has scrutinised Ofcom's decision and criticised a number of its assessments of the relevant facts. But this is not an appeal on fact. This is an area in which ... the court allows the decision-maker a wide measure of discretion and width of decision." [First published in 'The Radio Magazine' as 'Ashford Challenge Fails', #695, 3 August 2005] Grant Goddard is a media analyst / radio specialist / radio consultant with thirty years of experience in the broadcasting industry, having held senior management and consultancy roles within the commercial media sector in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Details at http://www.grantgoddard.co.uk

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