A Watford man is organising a protest after it was announced free TV licences for people over 75 are set to be scrapped next year.

The BBC announced the plans to avoid closing channels and making cutbacks.

This Friday, campaigners will gather outside BBC Three Counties Radio Station in Dunstable to campaign against the decision.

The protest is being organised by National Pensioners Convention (NPC).

John Dowdle, 74, from Watford heads the NPC in the home counties north region. He said: “In essence, what we are actually calling for is the BBC to change its mind on this, but more importantly we want the government to take back responsibility.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

(BBC director-general Tony Hall said the move was “not an easy decision”)

“It was funded through the department of work and pensions – and all we are asking is that they take it back into the government again and to continue funding it.”

He added: “This is a nationally co-ordinated protest.

“I think it’s wrong that these free licences are being scrapped.”

According to the NPC website, the convention aims to promote the “welfare and interests of pensioners, as a way of securing dignity, respect and financial security in retirement”.

Read more: TV licence fees for over-75s will be means-tested

Currently, people aged over 75 are eligible for a free TV licence. But from next year, the free licences will be means-tested. Only households that receive pension credit will be eligible for a free licence.

petition by Age UK has so far received over 500,000 signatures to ‘save free TV for older people’. It claimed under the new plans, “650,000 of our poorest pensioners facing a big new annual bill they simply can’t afford”.