- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
I signed Early Day Motion (EDM) #314 following the announcement of plans to reduce the number of staff working in the BBC Regional Political Unit based at Millbank by over a third.
You can read the Early Day Motion in full below:
“That this House is deeply concerned by proposals to slash the number of staff working in the BBC Regional Political Unit based at Millbank by over a third; notes that the unit is the eyes and ears of the BBC English regions in Westminster, coordinating political newsgathering for the BBC’s early evening regional TV news programme, as well as the regional breakfast, lunchtime and late evening TV bulletins and Sunday political programmes and across all local radio output; further notes that the unit is often the only part of the BBC watching backbench business and adjournment debates where hon. Members can raise important local issues which might not make it onto the national news; fears that staff cuts will inevitable impact on capacity to spotting stories, keeping the regions informed about what their MPs are doing and enabling public awareness of questions and contributions from backbench hon. Members; is concerned by BBC management’s failure to identify the activities currently undertaken which will be withdrawn or diminished as a result of staffing cuts; fears that the cuts will substantially reduce the monitoring of backbenchers’ contributions, and threaten a substantial fall in the number of local clips of hon. Members speaking in Parliament provided for TV and radio; and therefore calls on the Government to ensure that the BBC continues to finance a properly staffed Regional Political Unit so that the public can be well-informed regarding debates, about their area, in Parliament.”
The Regional Political Unit provides political coverage for the BBC’s English Regions and Local Radio stations. It is the eyes and ears of the BBC English regions in Westminster, coordinating political newsgathering for the BBC’s most watched bulletin – the 18.30 regional news programme, as well all the regional breakfast, lunchtime and late evening bulletins and Sunday political programmes. It is often the only part of the BBC watching Westminster Hall and Adjournment Debates where backbench MPs can raise important issues which might not make it onto the national news.