Broadcasting

Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 28 June 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ted Brocklebank Ted Brocklebank Conservative 11:40, 28 June 2007

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to meet BBC Scotland and the ITV companies to discuss future plans for broadcasting in Scotland. (S3O-369)

I declare an interest as a shareholder in the Scottish Media Group.

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

I intend to meet representatives from BBC Scotland and SMG in the near future.

Photo of Ted Brocklebank Ted Brocklebank Conservative

Although I accept that broadcasting is reserved, will the minister ask BBC Scotland and ITV why they have slashed budgets for current affairs television programmes in Scotland by 40 per cent between 2001 and 2006 against a 10 per cent cut in the United Kingdom as a whole? Will she also get answers as to why, two years after it was first announced, there is still no launch date for the new Gaelic television channel, which she will be aware is partially funded by the Scottish Executive?

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

The full details of what I intend to discuss at those meetings have not been finalised, but I will be pleased to raise those issues, which would be raised anyway, and any others that members would like to raise. On the first part of the question, I am aware that the Office of Communications report showed that Scotland's contribution to the UK network originations has fallen by half over the past three years both by value and volume. I am concerned about that, so I will certainly raise the issue as well as pointing out the importance of the dedicated channel for Gaelic.