S4C review – statement from the Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee
The Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, Bethan Sayed AM, has issued the following statement in response to the S4C review report published today.
Mrs Sayed said:
"I am disappointed with aspects of this review. Plurality in funding arrangements has always been a core principle of S4C and having an element of Government funding ensured a greater deal of accountability – which is essential given the special status of S4C as not only a broadcaster, but the world's only exclusive Welsh language television broadcaster. Given that all funding will now be passed to BBC, it will be crucial for the BBC to ensure the same standards of accountability as there are at the moment.
I hope that these changes won't lead to even less money for S4C or, that by funding the channel through the license fee, it will lead to less money for the BBC in Wales for Welsh news and programs about Wales. We need clarity on where the current DCMS funding for S4C of £6.8m will go after 2022/23.
"I am pleased that the Report has accepted a number of the key recommendations in the Culture, Welsh language and Communications Committee's report last year (Outside the Box – August 2107) about S4C's remit, geographical restrictions, commercial activity, digital offer and governance. I also welcome the move to longer term funding settlements and the reversal of forthcoming funding cuts, today's announcement glosses over the enormous 36% real term funding cut that S4C has had to deal with since 2010.
"The central issue of funding and accountability has not been dealt with in this review. At best it kicks the issue into the long grass and places S4C into, potentially, an even more precarious position, with serious questions outstanding regarding its independence and the future ability of S4C – and BBC Wales – to continue to provide the same level of content in the future."