Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 15:38 UK

Changes give BBC Wales bigger say

Menna Richards
BBC Wales Controller Menna Richards welcomed the changes

BBC Wales is to have a much bigger say within the corporation's work through the promotion of its controller to a strategic group.

Menna Richards will join the BBC's Direction Group with her counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

She said it was evidence of a "determination to reflect and recognise the realities of a fast changing UK".

She will also join a UK forum dealing with issues relating to the BBC's work outside London.

The BBC Wales controller said: "Today's announcement provides Wales with a seat at the BBC's most senior operational board for the very first time.

"It is further evidence of the BBC's determination to reflect and recognise the realities of a fast changing UK."

The UK has changed significantly in the last 10 years, not just politically and socially, but also in the requirements of our audiences
BBC Director-General Mark Thompson

Under the changes Ms Richards and the BBC controllers in Scotland and Northern Ireland will be promoted to directors, and will join the BBC Direction Group from next April.

The operational decision-making group meets weekly to take operational decisions and follow the strategy set up by the BBC Executive Board.

Ms Richards will also join a new UK Forum, which will be chaired by the BBC Director-General Mark Thompson, and will also provide a dedicated arena for issues relating to the BBC's presence outside London.

Requirements of audiences

Mr Thompson will also chair a new International Forum which will look at matters relating to the BBC's global services, international business development and operational issues overseas.

Mr Thompson said he was delighted to welcome Ms Richards and the other controllers to their new role.

"The UK has changed significantly in the last 10 years, not just politically and socially, but also in the requirements of our audiences," he said.

"These changes will add weight to the out of London representation on the BBC's senior strategy and decision-making body."

Alun Davies, Chair of the Welsh Assembly's Broadcasting Committee, has welcomed the BBC announcement.

He said: "This is a very welcome move and provides clear recognition that the BBC is listening to those voices that have spoken up for the importance of the UK's nations and regions.

"I congratulate the management of the BBC and hope that this signals a new emphasis and a new direction that will continue to move production and commissioning away from the metropolitan centre to reflect the full vibrancy of the whole of the United Kingdom."


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