Cross-media Ownership

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 23rd May 1995.

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Photo of Stephen Dorrell Stephen Dorrell Secretary of State for National Heritage 3:31 pm, 23rd May 1995

I do not agree that the community radio success story is threatened by what I have announced this afternoon. I would argue that the further liberalisation I have announced is a further step down the road of liberalisation which was introduced some years ago and which made possible the growth of community radio, which my hon. Friend welcomes and which I welcome. I look for an opportunity for other small-scale operators to develop in the radio and other sectors. The proposals on digital, which I shall introduce later in the year, will also have an effect on that aspect of activity.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to stress the huge opportunities for British media businesses that have critical mass here to exploit their skills and expertise in overseas markets. That is one of the opportunities that is further opened up by this document. I re-emphasise the point that the regulation of quality, through the Independent Television Commission and the Radio Authority, is unaffected by anything that I have done today.