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Local Newspapers — [Mrs. Janet Dean in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:40 pm on 13th January 2010.

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Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) 3:40 pm, 13th January 2010

I will not give way. We intend to review the local authority code and tighten it up. We also have campaigned rigorously for the relaxation of cross-media ownership rules, to allow media companies to build up across different platforms-newspaper, web, radio and local TV. We welcomed the announcement in November that Ofcom will recommend that relaxation, and we would support that in the Digital Economy Bill.

I am working up to our exciting proposals for a network of ultra-local television. That is what I call leadership. We have out for consultation Roger Parry's document "Creating Viable, Local Multi-media Companies in the UK", and I advise the Minister, who does not have a policy on that issue, to respond to that consultation, because he is clearly unable to publish the conclusions to his own. That proposal would put in place a network of 81 local television stations, combined with newspaper, web and radio, and provide the ultra-local news and accountability that local communities desperately need.