the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

7 February 2013

"As a publicly funded organisation the BBC is obligated to reflect the importance of our region. The Midlands needs the support of the BBC but it should also be recognised that the BBC needs the support of the 10 million people who live in this region" so begins a petition backed by the new Campaign for Regional Broadcasting in the Midlands.

Campaigners are addressing their petition to Lord Patten, chair of the BBC Trust and to the Director General. The full text of the petition statement appears below.
Sign the petition

Full petition text


To: Lord Patten, BBC Trust, The Director General, BBC
We call upon the Director General to increase the level of network BBC production in the Midlands. Recent job losses at BBC Birmingham - including the wholesale closure of the Factual department - mean that hardly anything remains of our proud history in network television and radio production.

Given the BBC’s much trumpeted investments in other, often smaller, cities and regions, it is both iniquitous and a clear betrayal of the BBC’s duty to all areas of the UK. As the region’s key media employer this decline is having a deleterious impact upon the local economy, the creative industries and the opportunities available to our young people. It is not acceptable that although Midlanders contribute 19% of the licence fee only 3% is spent here.

We therefore ask the Director General to commit to the following:

1. The expansion of the ‘Drama Village’ and the creation of a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Radio Drama

2. That ‘Doctors’, ‘The Archers’ and the ‘Asian Network’ remain in Birmingham

3. To work with independents to deliver more drama from the region and to allow the private sector to hire and use facilities at a reasonable rate

4. To seek and employ Midland based talent both in front of and behind the camera and commission Midland based production companies

5. To commit to spend a sum commensurate with the size of our region on network drama and factual programming from both a revitalised in-house production department and with local independent producers

Given the large-scale relocation of entire BBC departments to other cities we do not think that these requests are unreasonable. As a publicly funded organisation the BBC is obligated to reflect the importance of our region. The Midlands needs the support of the BBC but it should also be recognised that the BBC needs the support of the 10 million people who live in this region.

Petition organised by the Campaign for Regional Broadcasting Midlands
(www.crbmidlands.org.uk)

Sincerely
[Your name] 

The petition reflects many of the concerns raised by BECTU in recent years and not least in 2012. BECTU is pleased to support the petition. Sign the petition.

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