On Thursday, I asked the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley MP, if she could assure me that the forthcoming review into the future of S4C will be able secure a definitive base for its funding.
S4C is currently facing a 10% cut in its funding between now and 2021/2. This will undermine this Public Service Broadcasters ability to produce the top quality programming that people love.
It has been a hard-fought-for Welsh language Public Service Broadcaster that receives prominence, a privileged place on the TV guide, on TV sets across Wales.
S4C currently works in partnership with BBC Wales in sharing programming and resources, and is partially funded (£74.5 million a year) through the BBC licence fee. The Government has agreed to this sum until the next Charter Review in 2021/2.
In 2016 the Government announced an independent review of S4C’s remit, funding and accountability arrangements, which is expected to take place during 2017. The Terms of Reference are expected to be published in March.
The Secretary of State was unable to put my mind at ease, instead choosing to state that the Terms of Reference will be published shortly. This makes me fear that the Government are hoping to cut the prominence and resources of this much loved Public Service Broadcaster. I will be submitting evidence when the review comes out and I hope others in Delyn will do also.