Commenting on the publication today of the UK Government’s green paper on the future of the BBC, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:
“This week’s Annual Report from the BBC showed that it is currently failing to meet the expectations of the people of Scotland. More than half the nation doesn’t believe the BBC properly reflects their lives, and we’ve seen a decline in production spend in Scotland. These BBC failures must fuel positive reform, not furnish excuses for cuts.
“BBC reform needs to deliver improved coverage of the life of Scotland to the people of Scotland, an international perspective from Scotland and increases in Scottish production levels to help grow the industry.
“We’ve made clear the Scottish Government intends to play an active role in the charter renewal process and despite the UK Government failing to fully consult on the green paper or license fee settlement we will be working to ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard.
“Charter renewal must be used as an opportunity to improves services that will help it better deliver for Scotland and protect the BBC’s independence – not used as a cover for the UK Government to slash and diminish the BBC.”
NOTE: The UK Government failed to seek the Scottish Government’s view on either the recent licence fee settlement or the appointments made last week to the advisory panel on charter renewal. This demonstrates that Scotland is not yet being fully consulted on matters relating to charter renewal, and represents a clear breach of the Smith Commission agreement on the BBC. Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has written to the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to raise these issues.