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Regional Broadcasting (East Midlands)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:47 pm on 30th March 2004.

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Photo of Alan Meale Alan Meale Labour, Mansfield 3:47 pm, 30th March 2004

The letter from Ofcom states that the

"amount of sub-regional news for the East Midlands is mandated by Central's licence—4 hours a week averaged over a calendar year.

Coverage for the east midlands region, which stretches right the way down to south Leicestershire and the constituency of my hon. Friend Mr. Marshall, up to north Nottinghamshire and across to Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, and incorporates Nottingham, the eighth largest city in Britain, is being reduced to four hours a week. That is the reality.

The issue is not just about Ofcom saying that it will do one or two things about the news. We have one of the biggest production sites, 17 acres, in the whole of Britain. It is an important centre—we have proved that with the programmes that we have brought out—but the site is being closed and sold off for a fast buck. That is not good enough for the people of the east midlands.