Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

Bradshaw seeks debate by public on BBC licence fee

Ben Bradshaw
Mr Bradshaw has called for a debate over the licence fee

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw has said there is "good reason" for a debate by the public about the BBC's licence fee.

That debate over the £3.6bn settlement should consider the size of the corporation, he told Sky News.

It was important the public were involved because they paid for the service and consumed the programmes broadcast, he said.

But Mr Bradshaw declined to comment on reports that the BBC plans to cut back on radio and online services.

He told Sunday Live on Sky News: "I think there is a good reason to have a debate in the run-up to the next licence fee, which we shall have if we are in government, as to how big the BBC should be, how big the licence fee should be, even if we should continue to have a licence fee in the long-term as the best funding mechanism."

'Difficult decisions'

He went on: "The BBC is free at any time to say 'Look we don't need all the money we have got, have some back'.

"But it is very, very important that political parties in between the years when the licence fee is set don't give a running commentary like that because that would be a very serious breach of the BBC's independence," he said.

Mr Bradshaw said he did not want to be drawn on proposed BBC cuts, which would reportedly close down digital stations BBC 6 Music and the Asian Network.

He admitted he had never listened to 6 Music but said the station's future was a matter for the the BBC to decide.

"Whatever the BBC drops or stops doing there are bound to be people who are not happy with that but, hey, that is the job of leadership, that is the job of strategic management which means you have to take difficult decisions.

"Let's wait to see what the BBC comes up with before we weigh in and give commentary on it," he said.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
BBC 'axing 6 Music' report claims
26 Feb 10 |  Entertainment
Strike warning over BBC cutbacks
27 Feb 10 |  Entertainment
ITV 'to gain licence fee share'
16 Jun 09 |  Entertainment
Bradshaw in 'bias' attack on BBC
07 Oct 09 |  UK Politics
Public 'favour lower BBC licence'
10 Sep 09 |  Entertainment

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific