Clause 257 - Public service remits of licensed providers
Dr Kim Howells (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Culture, Media & Sport; Pontypridd, Labour)
Yes, I believe that that is enshrined in the Bill. I am confident of that and think that the conditions imposed on those licences reflect the desire to ensure that the regional presence and character of ITV continue. I can guarantee that that subject will be open to vociferous and public debate if and when ITV has a single owner. The hon. Member for Maldon and East Chelmsford (Mr. Whittingdale) quoted from an article by Greg Dyke. If a new owner starts to tinker with or rationalise production outside the M25 area, there will be vociferous debate and Ofcom will have the power to do something about it.
All broadcasters will be required to contribute to fulfilment of the overall public service broadcasting remit, which includes commitments to reflect the lives
and concerns of different communities and the different cultural interests and traditions within the United Kingdom. Broadcasters will also be obliged to provide an appropriate range and proportion of programmes made outside the M25 area. I realise that I have not addressed all the issues raised by hon. Members.