Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Tuesday, 28 February 2012

BBC Scotland job cuts debate

SNP MSP Sandra White said the proposed cuts to BBC Scotland were a "kick in the teeth for staff" during her member's debate on 1 March 2012.

Ms White called on the Scottish government to ask the BBC to reconsider the current proposals.

BBC Scotland has proposed 11 post reductions in news and current affairs and it has been announced Radio Scotland news programmes Newsweek and Scotland at Ten will end.

They are part of the Delivering Quality First (DQF) initiative, required of the BBC as a result of the licence fee settlement, which will require a £16 million reduction in BBC Scotland's annual budget by 2017 and a reduction of between 100 and 120 posts.

In news, 30 posts will be lost over the next five years from a workforce in that area of about 240.

The Glasgow Kelvin MSP said the DQF strategy was "seriously flawed" and there was a need to look at the role of the BBC in Scotland at this time of historical importance in Scotland.

The head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland told the Education and Culture Committee there would be "no loss of hours in our output and no drop in the quality of our output" as a result of proposed cuts, on 24 January 2012.

John Boothman said the one-hour Newsweek would be replaced by a two-hour news programme.

He said that instead of Scotland at Ten, there would have more regular daily politics slots within daily radio news output.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "When the first minister and I met Lord Patten (BBC Trust chairman) for a very positive meeting we all agreed that the BBC must be properly equipped and staffed to cover Scottish news and current affairs fully at this vital point in Scotland's history."

Ms Hyslop concluded the debate by saying: "I will be sending a copy of the official report of this debate to Mark Thompson (BBC's Director General, Mark Thompson) and Ken McQuarrie (BBC Scotland's director Ken MacQuarrie ) to reiterate our concerns about the proposals the BBC are suggesting."


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