Keeping up to date with the debate on BBC Charter Review

Latest news - January 2017

Sir David Clementi was confirmed recently as the next BBC chairman after Number 10 approval, the government has said.

The ex-Bank of England deputy governor wrote a report in 2016 which proposed significant changes the BBC's regulatory and governance model. As a result of Sir David's recommendations under the new Charter Ofcom will be responsible for regulating the BBC and a new unitary boared will be put in place to govern the corporation.

In response to the announcement, VLV Chairman Colin Browne said, 'We congratulate Sir David on his appointment and look forward to a constructive relationship with him as he steers the BBC through challenging times and ensures that this hugely valued institution is truly accountable to its licence payers’.

VLV press release in response to the BBC Draft Charter

The press release issued by the VLV on publication of the BBC Draft Charter on September 15th can be read here

VLV press release on Charter Review

The press release issued by the VLV on publication of the Charter Review document can be read here

VLV letter to John Whittingdale published

Colin Browne has written to the Secretary of State expressing VLV's concerns about accountability of the possible future board of the BBC and the appointment of directors. You can read the letter here.

3 April 2016

Sir David Clementi's Review of Governance and Regulation of the BBC has been published. You can read the report here.

1 March 2016

The VLV has responded to his report which you can read here

DCMS publishes Charter Review papers

1 March 2016

BBC television, radio and online services: An assessment of market impact and distinctiveness

Prepared by Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates Ltd and Oxera Consulting LLP for The Department for Culture, Media and Sport  Read their report here

BBC Charter Review Public Consultation: Summary of Responses Read the report here

House of Lords Communications Committee publishes its report

24 February 2016

The BBC remains a cornerstone of British life, says the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications, in its new report, published today. The Committee has found no need for fundamental changes to the BBC's core mission – to 'inform, educate and entertain' - which was set out by the BBC's founder Director General, Lord Reith, around 50 years ago. Read about the report here and BBC Charter Review: Reith not Revolution - the full report here

Commons Select Committee publishes its Report into BBC Charter Review

11 February 2106

"The BBC is an extraordinary national and global institution. Often one of the very few things people outside this country know about Britain is that it is the home of the BBC.

The BBC’s value lies not only in the organisation itself, but in its accumulated reputation, experience and goodwill, in its public service remit, and in its place at the centre of a vibrant broadcasting industry. It sets a standard in broadcasting quality, impartiality and independence that serves as a benchmark for others. For these reasons the BBC has a vast amount to contribute as an international standard of excellence in public service broadcasting. At a time when many media organisations are reducing their international coverage, relying on a few feeds and becoming more prone to crowd behaviour, there is a huge opportunity for the BBC to consolidate this global position."

Read the full report here

VLV Trustee Professor Sylvia Harvey on why we should protect our right to free to air television

As mobile providers take over spectrum from broadcasters, the age of ‘free-to-air’ transmission could be coming to an end and in her latest article Sylvia Harvey argues we should passionately defend our right to free to air television if the BBC’s future is to be secured. You can read the article here

VLV Trustee Professor Jeanette Steemers: Contestable Funding for PSB

The Government's Green Paper proposals for children’s programming should ring loud alarm bells – for children, parents, and for the future of the BBC itself. She thinks this is a Trojan Horse which will lead to the downfall of the BBC. Read the article here

VLV Publishes Michael Starks BBC Governance Paper

Michael Starks’ has written a fascinating analysis of the governance of the BBC and what we need to bear in mind when recommending new models of BBC governance and regulation to the Government. 

Read the paper here

VLV responds to Government Green Paper

Colin Browne, Chairman of VLV, said “We welcome the opportunity the Green Paper will provide for the public to be involved in the debate about the future of the BBC. The recent licence fee settlement did not allow for any public debate and was an unacceptable raid on the BBC’s income to fund government social policy, namely free licenc e fees for the over 75s.

"The preamble to this debate has not been edifying, with leaks and political point scoring. The BBC is too important an institution to be a political football. Now citizens must have their voice.

"The Voice of the Listener & Viewer will act as a stakeholder during the current consultation, representing the interests of listeners and viewers. The BBC is not owned by its staff or by politicians, it is owned by the public because they pay the licence fee.

“VLV believes that the BBC should provide something for everyone because we all pay for it. We will be fighting for this to remain the case in the coming months.”

Government publishes its BBC Charter Review Consultation document

Read the full consultation paper here

The Perry Report - the independent review into TV Licence enforcement has been published

It concludes that the current system is appropriate and fair, and represents value for money for licence fee payers and taxpayers. The review does recommend that:

  • there is scope to improve the current system in relation to the transparency of the prosecution process, and the content and tone of TV Licensing communications; and
  • when considering the structure of licence fee collection as part of the forthcoming Charter Review, a move towards a simpler system would assist in improving public understanding of what the licence fee covers.

Read full review here Read VLV's submission to the review here

Read TV Licensing Review 2014/15 here

VLV Chairman Colin Browne writes to John Whittingdale

A letter has been sent to the Secretary of State deploring the non-consultative process before the announcement on the funding of the over 75s free licences.

He wrote "It would be fair to say that the announcement this week has led to a greater reaction from VLV’s members than any other issue in recent years. There is universal outrage among VLV members on behalf of licence fee payers."

Read his letter here

BBC Annual Report published - read it here

Government appoint a panel of experts to advise on the BBC Charter Review

The advisory group will play an important role in the government’s plans to deliver a transparent, open and democra tic Charter Review. Its remit will be to provide expertise, innovation and advice for the process and policy of the review of the BBC Royal Charter by providing strategic independent oversight and challenge to the Charter Review programme of work; and bringing to bear their own personal experience and expertise on the policy debates.

The panel includes VLV President Dame Colette Bowe.

Free licences for the over 75s to be funded by the BBC: VLV condemns lack of consultation

Following the announcement by John Whittingdale on 6 July 2015 , the VLV immediately issued this press release condemning the lack of consultation:

The VLV has responded to the surprise announcement made by the Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, today in the House of Commons that the BBC’s licence fee income will pay for the cost of licence fees for the over 75s from 2018 onwards at a cost of around £650 million per annum - comparable to the entire BBC Radio budget.

Colin Browne, Chairman of VLV, said “It is disgraceful that this decision has been taken with no public consultation of any kind. We were promised a full and transparent discussion about the future of the BBC, but this has effectively been pre-empted by this announcement.”

You can read more detail about the announcement and reactions from the BBC, BBC Trust and others by following the links below:

Statement from DCMS

From BBC News

From BBC Trust

Comment from Chris Bryant, Shadow Minister

As seen from ITV

Reaction in Broadcastnow


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