Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fantastic S4C/BBC deal announced.

So frustrated not to be able to speak in today's chamber discussions on the Public Bodies Bill. I wanted to speak about S4C. I wanted to welcome today's announcement that a deal had been struck between the BBC, S4C and DCMS which answered the concerns which I have had since it was announced that the statutory funding link by which S4C had been previously funded was to be broken, and most of future funds were to come from the BBC licence fee. I had asked for assurances from the Minister during the Committee stage of the Bill - which have been delivered in spades. Here's the highlights.

1) - The current level of S4C funding (around £100 million if programme production is counted) is to continue until the end of the current BBC Charter period in 2017. Not possible to be longer.

2) - Only the BBC's National Trustee for Wales, currently Elan Clos Stephens, is to serve on the S4C Authority. She has been instrumental in delivering this better deal than any of us could have reasonably expected. Wonderful woman.

3) - No BBC representatives are to be included in the Management Board of S4C - giving S4C a level of independence that I had hoped for, but not expected.

4) - The Wales Government is given an involvement in the appointment of members of the S4C Authority, which I had not expected, and which I welcome.

5) - The deal has been welcomed by the Chairs of S4C and the BBC.

I hope we can put the huge problems of the S4C Authority over recent years behind us, and move forward to a successful future for the channel which has done so much since it was set up in 1981.

For months I've defended the Government position over this issue, and taken some serious stick. Comes the day for knocking this stick back, and lavishing praise on those those who have delivered this fantastic result, the chance evaporated as long speeches and interventions squeezed it out. Is it any wonder I was frustrated.


Anonymous said...

I thought the funding is being cut?

Aled GJ said...

This sticky plaster solution to a festering wound will fool no one Glyn. S4C is to be "accountable" to the BBC Trust, and its inbuilt paternalistic and British(i.e English) worldview. It's still a hostile takeover of one of our few Welsh national institutions. Cymdeithas yr Iaith need to up the ante so that their licence fee campaign is firmly linked to the complete devolution of broadcasting to Wales .