THE BBC will be in a stronger position as a result of the Government’s White Paper on the broadcaster’s future, Evesham’s MP Nigel Huddleston has claimed.
Last Friday (May 13) the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale, revealed the long-awaited paper on the future of the BBC after months of consultation with the public.
Included are major reforms of the broadcaster, including an overhaul of how the BBC is governed, with the BBC Trust abolished and replaced with a unitary board, which is made up of members appointed by the BBC and the Government.
The media regulator Ofcom will become an external independent regulator, Charter Reviews will be taken out of the political cycle to prevent it from becoming too politicised, and viewers will have to pay the license fee to use the BBC iPlayer.
Critics have slammed the white paper with a number of stars speaking out against the proposals during the recent BAFTA TV awards.
Among those voicing concern was Wolf Hall director Peter Kosminsky who likened proposals to examine the scheduling of shows such as the BBC News and Strictly Come Dancing as similar to the ‘bastions of democracy Russia and North Korea’.
However Mr Huddleston, who also sits on the influential Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said the changes were needed.
“The BBC will be in a stronger, not weaker position as a result of the recommendations in the white paper,”he said.
“The BBC remains a popular and much loved institution but it has not been well served by its current governance arrangements.
“There is no suggestion of Government interference in programme scheduling or banning of popular programmes as some scaremongers had suggested.
“Also the BBC itself will be able to appoint the majority of Board directors and therefore outvote Government appointees, should they wish to do so, at any time.
“As a largely publicly funded broadcaster the BBC must offer good value for money to licence fee payers, and be appropriately accountable for its spending, for its editorial decisions, and for the conduct of its staff.
“Improving the BBC’s accountability and transparency will help it to continue to innovate and create superb programming, while addressing the issues that plague the BBC and its somewhat introspective culture.”