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Wales needs national TV, not local TV

18/08/2022

Plaid call for greater investment in existing Welsh TV services

Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Jonathan Edwards has called for greater investment in Wales’ three national television channels rather than the rollout of local TV in Wales.

The call comes after a speech today (Thursday) by UK Government Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, to launch a UK-wide roadshow which promotes the local television policies that his government are pursuing.

Cuts are being made to Welsh television services from S4C and BBC Wales while ITV Wales has undergone cuts in recent years. At the same time, the UK Government have asked for bids for six new local television stations in Wales - based around Bangor, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Mold and Swansea.

Mr Edwards said:

“What is termed ‘local’ television by the Conservatives, to be watched by thousands rather than millions, is the national level for Wales.
“Wales must have a national television service worthy of the name, with quality programming that represents us as a nation.

“That means stopping the cuts being made to S4C and BBC Wales and giving ITV Wales the scope for improvements.

“We must continue to develop the present level of coverage of Welsh news and current affairs, which are under serious threat because of the actions of this Tory government at Westminster.

“This is important for the scrutiny of Welsh politicians and our democracy.

“Despite the promises being made by Jeremy Hunt, the majority of people in Wales will not be able to receive any sort of local television if this idea ever comes off – only those in certain areas.

“However, it seems as if he will push ahead with his pet project regardless of whether the business model will work, however it is to be funded or whatever anybody says to him.

“If he does so, then it is important that Welsh language services are provided on these local tv stations relative to the Welsh speaking population which they are serving.

“Welsh is an everyday language amongst audiences across Wales, and this must be reflected in the television services which they receive.

“Our priority here in Wales, though, must be improving and developing the level of Welsh news and current affairs rather than furthering the ill considered agenda of a Westminster minister.”

http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/media_releases/8380.aspx 

News release by DCMS announcing the location of possible local tv stations (09/08/2022).

The roadshow will visit Newport on 26th August.