The new BBC charter must ensure there is greater decentralisation of decision making, commissioning and budgets to Scotland according to a report issued today (8 Feb) by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee.
The report comes as the Scottish Parliament has, for the first time, a formal role in the Charter renewal process. The Committee considered the implications for Scotland and how the BBC could have a long term future that benefits the people of Scotland.
Scotland’s voice must also be heard in the governance framework of the BBC according to the report. It states that only by doing this can the BBC truly represent the diversity of Scottish culture effectively.
Committee Convener Stewart Maxwell MSP said:
“Our Committee wants the BBC to be relevant to the people of Scotland and the charter renewal is an opportunity to ensure Scotland’s voice is heard.
“However, it is clear there needs to be changes, something which the BBC itself has recognised. There must be greater decentralisation of decision making, commissioning and budgets to Scotland. Doing this would not only support and stimulate the creative industry in Scotland but would also ensure the rich diversity of Scottish culture is represented.
“The charter renewal process also provides the opportunity to include a strong Scottish element in the governance and regulatory framework of the BBC. This framework must be accountable to the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland.
“Our Committee looks forward to continuing our scrutiny of the BBC and ensuring that Scotland’s voice is heard.”
For the first time, the Scottish Parliament has a formal role in the process of reviewing the BBC charter. A Memorandum of Understanding was agreed between the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament in June 2015 which formalises this role and which will be enshrined in the next BBC charter.
During its evidence sessions on the renewal process, the Committee heard from witnesses including BBC Director General Lord Tony Hall and representatives from the broadcasting and creative sectors in Scotland.
Read more information about the Committee’s consideration.