Clive Lewis For Norwich South
Today, the BBC has announced its intention to drastically scale back its regional TV, radio and online output. While not unexpected (I previously tabled an EDM against these cuts: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57121/bbc-inside-out-and-politics-east), this news is still unwelcome.
Regional broadcasting is a vital way of holding those in power to account, and produces some of the most trusted news out there. Its rooted in our communities, and serves a need that cannot be met nationally.
Although Covid-19 has affected production, the root cause to these cuts remains the government’s decision to hugely reduce the BBC’s funding. £800 million has been cut so far in this charter period – and the Tories’ U-turn on providing free TV licenses to the over-75s has meant this cost (£250 million) was also passed onto the BBC to meet.
The Government needs to take responsibility here and stop passing the buck onto BBC management.