Thursday, 27 November 2008



BBC TRUST PROVISIONAL CONCLUSION ON LOCAL VIDEO, Dr Diane Coyles Presentation made us look twice at the comments made by her which many seem to have missed and will have a striking effect on our local services.
Dr Diane Coyle has worked as Senior Economic Assistant to HM Treasury and published several books on economics. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, the Migration Advisory Committee and, a BBC Trustee. She has a PhD in Economics from Harvard University.
The Trust’s message to licence fee payers is this:

The Trust will always put the public first when reaching big decisions about BBC services. We know the public feel the BBC is not working hard enough to reflect the areas where they live. But the public has also made it absolutely clear that this Local Video service is not the answer. Instead, they want better quality regional news and a better reflection of local communities in all BBC television.

We will make sure that these improvements are made so licence fee payers are served better.

Our message to the commercial media and all those who have expressed concern about the BBC’s proposals is straightforward:

For the foreseeable future BBC management must drop its plans to expand its online services as outlined in this application. Instead, the Trust has requested management to increase the quality of its existing television and radio services and – without an increase in budgets – its existing online services. Local newspapers and other commercial media have the assurance they need that the BBC does not intend to make this new intervention in the market. They can therefore sustain and improve their offering to the public secure in this knowledge and I hope they will do just that.

As part of the BBC management’s plans to create partnerships and to cooperate with others who provide a public service, the Trust is looking to the BBC to do more to support the provision of regional news in the United Kingdom, beyond that which people receive directly from the BBC. We hope to say more about this before long.

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