Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to http://tommysheppardmp.scot/

BBC Charter Review consultation and other stories…

BBC Charter Review consultation and other stories…

I’ve had a lot of correspondence recently about the BBC. Its charter – which sets out how it is governed and funded - is currently being reviewed by the UK Government and people are understandably uneasy about what that could mean for public service broadcasting across the UK. To inform the review, the Government initiated a public consultation exercise last July. This closed in early October and since then we’ve heard nothing.

Last month I wrote to John Whittingdale, the Secretary of State for Culture, pressing for an answer on what is happening with the consultation. I have now received a response from one of the departmental Ministers and this is below.

 

As you can see, 190,000 people have responded, apparently the second largest ever response to any Government consultation. Frustratingly, there is no date for publication of the results although they make a commitment to do so. Responses will be published here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/bbc-charter-review-public-consultation

By far the largest proportion of responses have reportedly been received via the campaign organised by 38 Degrees. Rather than welcoming this manifestation of 21st century democracy, Whittingdale speculated, unwisely in my opinion, that the responses received in this way might not be wholly representative of public opinion at large. This has given rise to anxieties that the Government will not be taking all responses into account. The BBC Chairperson herself has written to the Government seeking assurances that all responses received are being considered and I shall be doing the same myself.

That aside, my SNP colleagues and I are strongly committed to public service broadcasting. We want to see a vibrant, creative, diverse BBC which is editorially independent, and decentralised. Public service broadcasting which puts public benefit first, rather than serving purely commercial interests, is invaluable to our society. Without institutions such as the BBC, our broadcasting would be driven purely in the interests of advertisers and shareholders, losing much of the integrity and diversity that exists on our television screens. While I believe that the BBC must change and adapt – particularly in Scotland - it should not be put at risk by cuts to its resources or attempts by politicians to reduce its scale and importance. The proposals put forward by the Scottish Government aim to strengthen the BBC and allow it to flourish in Scotland and throughout the UK. A federal structure, devolving full editorial and commissioning control will allow the BBC to properly represent the nations and regions. A fairer share of the license fee, correcting the mismatch between the £335 million income for the BBC in Scotland and the £35 million spent on TV production in Scotland, will ensure that creative talent in our country is unlocked.

Hunt challenged over junior doctors being lured fr...
The necessity of reinstating post-study work visas...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Wednesday, 08 July 2020

Captcha Image

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
26 March 2020
Tommys Blog
My constituency offices are closed but my team are working remotely in order to deal with casework.  The best way to get in touch is to email us at tommy.sheppard.mp@parliament.uk.  The current situation with COVID-19 means that I am experiencing a high volume of emails. You will receive a response however this may take longer than usual and my team and I are prioritising those with a sp...
Tommy Sheppard
18 March 2020
Tommys Blog

Time is running out for many of Edinburgh's small businesses. Today I've written to the Chancellor asking for additional emergency assistance for our hospitality sector through the COVID-19 epidemic.

 

Tommy Sheppard
02 March 2020
Tommys Blog
Media
 In Edinburgh in recent weeks, there have been a number of alarming incidents of racist violence. The only reason innocent people were attacked was the colour of their skin. Some victims have been subjects to months of abuse and intimidation. We know this because some of these incidents were reported to the police. What we do not know is how many are not reported....
Tommy Sheppard
31 January 2020
Tommys Blog
Media
Dear fellow Europeans I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. The UK is leaving the European Union later tonight. I’ve resisted it every step of the way but now it is really happening. Please know that this is not what the people who live in this great city want. Boris Johnson does not act in our name. We are being dragged out of Europe against our will. And we are determined that this will not be the end of the...
Tommy Sheppard
29 January 2020
Tommys Blog
With everything that goes on at Westminster it can be very easy to get caught up in the day to day minutiae of debates and votes. Sometimes we need a reminder of the bigger picture. I got that last week when I met with one of my constituents, Gica, who spent time volunteering in Samos last year.Gica volunteered with refugees and the situation she described is appalling. And worsening. The refugee ...