Marlow radio station suspends host for “unbiased” interview

A RADIO host was suspended from his show for allegedly “impartial” views on the Maidenhead Golf Course expression.

Marlow-based River Radio, which is an independent station and covers stories across the Thames Valley, confirmed to the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it had removed Wisdom Da Costa while it was under investigation. investigation.

Mr Da Costa, who is also an independent advisor to Windsor, hosts a one-hour program every Monday called “Politically Correct” and discusses local government issues in the area with guests.

On his last show, he was scheduled to chat with activists from Maidenhead Great Park and Cllr Geoff Hill (TBF: Oldfield) about Tuesday’s (December 14) protest outside Maidenhead Town Hall.

The protest will be the campaign group’s second rally to urge councilors to reject the local borough plan and save the Maidenhead Golf Course, a 132-acre green space and which is planned in the local plan, to be developed into more than 2,000 homes.

READ MORE: Maidenhead Great Park activists protest outside Town Hall

Local democracy reporters James Bagley and James Aldridge were scheduled to talk about politics in their respective patches.

Two small clips of the pre-recorded interview with the protesters were posted on social media a few days before Monday’s broadcast.

However, Mr Da Costa was informed on Sunday afternoon that his pre-recorded interview with the group and Cllr Hill would not take place and that he was on suspension until further notice after receiving complaints alleging the “impartial” content. maintenance.

River Radio is on the first floor of the Marlow Post Office

Michael Bourton, director of River Radio, said this was an internal matter and he is gathering all the facts at this point.

He said: “As we are on the verge of launching River Radio on DAB, we will be subject to Ofcom rules and regulations. This means we must uphold impartiality at all times.

“We take all complaints seriously and, as part of our protocol, we have suspended Mr. Da Costa until we have all the information. We don’t assign any blame to any party at this time, but it would be irresponsible to broadcast until we have all the facts.

“It is entirely possible that the show will air at a later date once we have completed our investigation.”

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Mr Bourton added that the complaints came from “more than one person” at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, but could not confirm whether they came from officers or advisers.

Reacting to his suspension, Da Costa said he was “disappointed” to have been taken off the air and that it was a “very worrying” situation to see freedom of expression suppressed.

He said: “I go to great lengths to make sure that I am impartial. Everyone is talking about this story (the protest) including local newspapers and even the BBC talking about this story.

“So for me talking about this story is hardly a problem. This is news everyone needs to hear about.

He added: “I have confidence and hope that any investigation will clear my name from the effective mud thrown at me.”

After speaking with the council’s legal team, Democratic Services and the managing director, Da Costa said officers “knew nothing” about the complaints.

He also said he was “concerned” that the complaints were “politically motivated” and emanating from some Royal Borough politicians in “an attempt to suppress the voice of residents”.

As this is a political issue, council was unable to comment.

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