Politicans express anger at UK Government contempt for S4C

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas and Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards have expressed their deepest disappointment at the UK Government’s lack of respect for broadcasting in Wales following the Chancellor of the Exchequer‘s confirmation in the Comprehensive Spending Review that the BBC will adopt the funding for S4C, and that S4C’s budget will be reduced by 25%. This decision will see the BBC having effective control over the finances and operations of the Welsh language channel.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“A large number of people in Carmarthenshire are employed through the broadcasting industry in Wales. I am very concerned that we will see local job losses if S4C, and broadcasting companies who rely on work with them, are forced to cut back due to these proposals. Having been informed of the S4C’s fate through the media, I tabled an Urgent Question to the Welsh Government’s Minister for Heritage to establish what consultation the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport had engaged with to discuss the possibility of effectively merging S4C with the BBC. Both the Minister and Chair of S4C have confirmed that no such consultation has taken place.”

“I am deeply concerned as we are already seeing spending cuts in both English and Welsh language programming in Wales. Now we have this “non-negotiable” agreement between the UK Government and the BBC, which appears to be a hasty decision taken in a back room in London, paying no regard to Welsh language, culture, broadcasting or democracy.”

Jonathan Edwards MP said:

“It is quite clear that this decision has not been thoroughly thought through. The last thing we need at the moment is decisions having been reached without all options being exhausted first. S4C has been left with no alternative but to launch a Judicial Review. I fully support S4C’s action.”

ENDS / DIWEDD

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