View Full Version : MSP fights BBC cuts

06-Sep-12, 13:47
Decision would lead to a loss of quality in the service

AT First Ministers Question Time today in the Scottish Parliament, Highlands & Islands Labour MSP David Stewart asked the First Minister the following question:
“The First Minister will be well aware that the BBC’s mission is to enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.
In their words: ‘We are one BBC; great things happen when we work together’
Does the First Minister share my concerns that with the removal of the news editor’s job from the proposed Inverness establishment there will then be no direction except from Glasgow for these services? This means BBC Highland news agenda driven from Pacific Quay?” David Stewart continued “ Does the First Minister agree that the BBC’s mission must also serve rural and Island communities, not just the central belt?”
Earlier this week David Stewart placed a motion before Parliament highlighting the concerns of many by the BBC decision:
‘That the Parliament notes with concern the plans of BBC Scotland to cut a number of reporting staff based in Inverness; understands that in real terms these cuts equate to 50% of the senior reporting staff based in the Highlands; considers that this decision will lead to a downgrade of the quality of service for the Highlands and Islands; furthermore believes that BBC Scotland should be a service for the whole of Scotland,including the Highlands and Islands; and calls on the BBC to reverse these short sighted decisions that will affect the quality of news coverage across the region and beyond’.
Speaking today, David Stewart said “I understand that the BBC are planning on exploring the combination of the English speaking department with the Gaelic department. However, I believe that this move would in effect down grade the quality of Gaelic medium, because the BBC Alba staff cannot take on more work. They currently provide a daily TV coverage and a full daily radio service, including hourly bulletins and two current affairs programmes every week day, covering the same vast local area as the English equivalents”.