'Devolve control of TV and radio', says Plaid leader
Published: 3rd Aug 2010 06:49:16
Control over television and radio in Wales should be devolved, Plaid Cymru's leader says.
Ieuan Wyn Jones argues that the assembly government should have power over the BBC, S4C and commercial stations to ensure the future of broadcasting in Wales.
Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones has said the issue should be discussed.
In a speech he will give at the National Eisteddfod in Ebbw Vale, the Plaid leader will say that there are "compelling economic, cultural and democratic reasons" for transferring control over television and radio to Wales in the next assembly government term.
He has pledged that he will put the devolution of broadcasting at the heart of his party's manifesto ahead of next year's assembly election.
Mr Jones, who is also the deputy first minister and minister for economy and transport, said that broadcasting in Wales "is under attack from the UK government", with broadcasters "failing to provide an adequate service for Welsh audiences".
"On BBC Wales, the Welsh-made output has fallen from 824 hours to 696," he said, quoting figures released last month by the media regulator Ofcom.
"More worryingly, news and current affair output has fallen from 500 to 420.
Without swift action, it's possible we will see further erosion in our broadcasting institutions ”
He said that the situation at ITV Wales was "even worse", with programming, excluding news and current affairs, reduced from 169 hours a year in 2005 to 35 hours now.
"This all means one thing. Without swift action, it's possible we will see further erosion in our broadcasting institutions and the whole nation will be poorer for it," he added.
Mr Jones will use his speech to highlight the need to create an appropriate financial settlement for broadcasting services, which would include a reform of the Barnett formula - the system used to allocate money to Wales.
He will also argue that the assembly govenment should be given the powers to set the budget of the Welsh-language broadcaster S4C and establish, in the short-term, a Welsh BBC trust to provide a better service to audiences in Wales.
He says he believes the assembly government should control the distribution of FM radio frequencies in Wales, and ensure that new digital stations such as Radio Wales and Radio Cymru are available throughout the country.
His speech comes a day after the heritage minister said S4C should develop a closer relationship with the assembly government.
Alun Ffred Jones said he was not in favour of "devolving S4C on its own" but added: "I think you have to look at the whole issue of broadcasting and then I think there is a discussion to be had around that."
At 08:02:46 in HeadlinesAn "immediate ceasefire" in Ukraine must be the priority for key negotiations taking place on Monday, Russia's foreign minister has said.
At 08:00:52 in EnglandMore than 30 firefighters are tackling a blaze at a landfill site in Dorset.
At 07:56:29 in ScotlandSkin cancer cases have increased two-and-a-half fold over the last 30 years but survival rates have also soared, according to researchers from Glasgow.
At 07:55:14 in HeadlinesPakistan's national television channel has been taken off air after its headquarters were stormed by anti-government protesters in Islamabad.
At 07:54:08 in Northern IrelandThe Stormont Assembly is hopeful it has found a buyer for Ormiston House, a building in Belfast that was costing the taxpayer almost £3,000 a week.
At 07:48:10 in EnglandA motorcyclist has died after crashing while riding on the slip road of a motorway in Hampshire.
At 07:46:22 in EnglandA motorcyclist has been killed in a crash after appearing to lose control, Kent Police said.
At 07:45:04 in WalesSpeed restrictions signs have been put up outside half the schools in Flintshire in time for the start of the new term with the remainder due to be complete by October.
At 07:44:31 in SportBradford Bulls have signed Salford Red Devils winger Danny Williams on a two-year deal.
At 07:43:31 in BusinessA single, larger hub airport where passengers can transfer to a range of destinations - is "critical" to the UK's long-term economic growth, says the CBI.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. 'Devolve control of TV and radio', says Plaid leader [Online] (Updated 3rd Aug 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/79271/Devolve-control-of-TV-and-radio-says-Plaid-leader [Accessed 1st Sep 2014]
News In Other Categories
Under Milk Wood is an acknowledged radio classic. Dylan Thomas's dramatic masterpiece was first broadcast in January 1954 and almost nobody involved is left alive. But to mark the poet's centenary the original sound effects man has been persuaded to return to rattle the teacups one last time.
An "immediate ceasefire" in Ukraine must be the priority for key negotiations taking place on Monday, Russia's foreign minister has said.
Skin cancer cases have increased two-and-a-half fold over the last 30 years but survival rates have also soared, according to researchers from Glasgow.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
More than 30 firefighters are tackling a blaze at a landfill site in Dorset.
Negotiations between the Tories and Lib Dems are expected to continue ahead of the unveiling of a new plan to tackle the threat of Islamic extremists.