Outrage as BBC accused of ‘decreasing providers for older folks’ | Politics | News | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

MPs have accused the BBC of decreasing providers for older folks as a result of it has moved budgets from native radio to regional on-line providers.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) additionally warned the broadcaster “lacks a clear plan” on how one can spend an additional £700 million outdoors London between March 2021 and March 2028.

Dame Meg Hillier MP, chair of the committee, stated: “The BBC is seeking to liberate hundreds of millions in spending from the gravitational pull of London, and it is understandable that the simple act of having done so would feel like success.

“But as with every publicly-funded project, it is incumbent on the BBC to track what positive impact its spending is having at the same time.

“Parliament and the public must also be fully satisfied that the BBC is not simply cherry-picking examples of success in delivery of Across the UK (ATUK), while sweeping bad news stories under the rug as not part of the programme, in particular cuts to local radio. It must also take care not to over-rely on partnerships with local authorities already dealing with extreme financial pressure.

“We wish the BBC fair wind with ATUK, and hope our report comes as a timely reminder of the importance of seeking value for money, rather than just money spent.”

The Daily Express has referred to as for radio stations and TV to be free to air for many who can not stream or lack digital subscriptions by way of the Keep Us Tuned In marketing campaign.

The campaign backs requires terrestrial providers to be safeguarded till the 2040s on the earliest.

The PAC’s inquiry discovered that ATUK is overly centered on transferring spending outdoors of London as a measure of success in itself, fairly than robustly monitoring what constructive change it’s attaining by having finished so.

MPs warned that plans to judge the programme’s influence are solely resulting from start in 2025 which is “too late to change course if needed”.

The PAC stated: “The report further raises concerns that the risks and impacts of changes made to ATUK’s scope were not well enough understood by the BBC, with changes made to local services potentially disadvantaging certain groups.

“Particular concerns relate to the BBC moving budgets from its local radio to local online services, in effect reducing services for older people or those less able to access online platforms, which was part of the original ATUK programme.”

Thomas Wrathmell, director of the BBC’s Across the UK initiative, stated: “We have a very clear plan on how we will move investment, programming and decision-making across the UK to get closer to audiences, support the country’s diverse creative sectors, and develop and nurture new talent. Our pioneering programme is deliberately ambitious and has been fully assessed.

“We are incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made so far and remain focused on achieving our targets to deliver cultural and economic benefits across the UK.

“We are disappointed by some of the commentary in the Committee’s report and look forward to addressing the issues raised when we provide our written response. We will continue to provide ongoing updates to the general public and industry stakeholders through the BBC’s annual plan and annual report.”