The Future of the BBC; What do you think?

BBC Director General Tony Hall being questioned by John at the Culture Select Committee

BBC Director General Tony Hall being questioned by John at the Culture Select Committee

Over the next month, my Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee will be looking into the future of the BBC.

This is an issue that affects nearly all of us as, in an average week, 96% of us access the BBC, and more than that pay the license fee!

The challenge the BBC faces is to continue to provide world-class, quality broadcasting, whilst accepting they have less money to spend because of freezes to the licence fee.

Clearly, the BBC is not perfect and has made mistakes. I criticised the payout that the former Director General got when he resigned. Local BBC Radio managers chose to cut local programming, including LGBT Citizen Manchester, Jewish Citizen Manchester and Irish Citizen Manchester, and replace it with cross network programming in the evenings. This, I believe, was a mistake, and one I opposed

However, I support the principle of the BBC. I strongly believe that the BBC should not be cut further after the current cost cutting exercise ends in 2017. I am instead proposing that we should commit to inflation-linked rises in the television license fee, for the lifetime of the next parliament.

Whilst I realise that no-one likes to see their bills go up,  the current license fee costs 40p-a-day, whereas a subscription-only service like Sky costs around 4 times more.

What do you think?

Please comment below, or send your view to John.Leech.MP@parliament.uk

4 responses to “The Future of the BBC; What do you think?

  1. So much of the BBC’s content is online now, why does it still rely on TV license fees? I too agree with the principle of the BBC and, while improvements can definitely be made, it would make much more sense to raise the money through a special tax not linked to whether you have a TV set. And if you don’t use any BBC services…so what? Your taxes pay for roads you may never drive on, it’s still good for the nation as a whole.

    • My worry about funding the BBC out of tax is that it could become even more of a political football than it is now. I don’t want general elections which are dominated by who will get the best quality programmes for the lowest cost.
      The license fee is the thing which keeps the BBC’s independence from commercial bias and relatively free from political interference.

  2. I am a strong support of the BBC and it must continue as an independent organisation. I dislike the commercial channels and never watch any commercial channel live because of the interference of advertising, often too frequent and too long. I record commercial channels so as to cut out the commercials. If the BBC had to survive from commercial income, I would stop watching it live. Don’t let us go down the same route as American TV which is awful.

  3. Everything possible must be done to stop the Tories from BBC bashing – commercialisation would be the beginning of the end. There is a problem with a bloated/inflated senior management structure, but this must be eradicated without threatening the ethos of the Beeb.

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