Dear Editor, I was very saddened to hear of the job losses at BBC WM.

The BBC is being made to pay for an economic crisis that it did not cause, and in ways that will not do anything to reduce the national debt.

BBC WM does a huge service to the people of Birmingham in giving them a platform to air their views, and by covering things that are not covered by commercial local radio.

My husband used to listen to a local commercial station but it actually talked very little about what was happening in our local area, and in fact most of its content was identical to that of “local” stations in other parts of the country.

On top of this, its musical output was very limited and repetitive, as it was owned by a record company and tended to play only its tracks.

The BBC does not have any reason to do this, and it is responsible for increasing the variety of music listened to in this country – think of John Peel and all the artists who got their break on his show.

The BBC plays an important role in Birmingham by employing people here and contributing to the local economy. Not just that, but it helps with the way that Birmingham is seen by others.

Carl Chinn has been an excellent ambassador for the city, and probably helps people to appreciate the place more, certainly by teaching people about Birmingham’s past. The Archers and Doctors show the city in a more positive light than it is normally portrayed.

On a wider matter I think the BBC helps Britain itself be seen in a better light.

Think of how many people abroad have affection for Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Doctor Who, Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.

God help us if we had to rely on Hollywood’s depiction of British life! The BBC has contributed a hell of a lot to British culture down the years, let’s treasure it.

Bel Tolley

West Heath