17 November 2011
David Donovan, national officer for Wales gave evidence today (17 November) to the Assembly's Task and Finish Group on the Future Outlook for the Media in Wales.
The oral evidence followed a written submission to the Assembly which highlights the acute challenges for the sector, caused not only by the recession but by the impact of cuts in investment at ITV, the BBC and S4C which are having severe knock-ons both for the broadcasters and for independent production.
Cuts in investment affect entire sector
In a key section, BECTU states:
"Over the next few years in Wales we face at least 20% cuts in BBC Wales and over 40% cuts at S4C, this is currently leading to imminent job losses at both broadcasters but is also likely to result in redundancies at the independent production companies that provide programmes for these broadcasters, only last week [October 2011], Boomerang, the second largest production company in Wales.... announced that it was going to make 40% of its workforce in Wales working on S4C and BBC Wales productions redundant as a direct result of the cuts at these broadcasters.
Quality content will be compromised
The statement continues:
"The cuts will also be detrimental to the employment of our freelance workforce, some are struggling to make a living and others are leaving the industry and taking their skills and expertise with them. The impact of these cuts is that the combined loss of highly trained and experienced professionals and a further decline in programme budgets will mean that both broadcasters will continue to lose the ability and capacity to create high quality content for viewers in Wales."
BECTU, along with the other sector unions. is committed to working closely with the Welsh Assembly and industry representatives to secure more government support for the production community in Wales.