Broadcasting Programmes: Visual Impairment

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 22 April 2024.

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Photo of Marsha de Cordova Marsha de Cordova Labour, Battersea

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has had discussions with the BBC Board on the decision to cut Radio 4’s In Touch show from 20 to 15 minutes.

Photo of Marsha de Cordova Marsha de Cordova Labour, Battersea

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of the BBC’s decision to cut Radio 4’s In Touch show from 20 to 15 minutes on accessibility.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

Ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regularly meet the BBC’s leadership to discuss a range of issues.

The BBC’s Royal Charter and Framework Agreement sets out what the BBC is required to deliver. The BBC has a range of obligations to ensure its services are accessible. The BBC is obliged to provide output and services which meet the needs of the United Kingdom’s nations, regions and communities, reflects the diversity of the United Kingdom; to observe guidance within Ofcom’s TV Access Services Code in relation to the provision of access services; and in adhering to regulatory conditions set by Ofcom in the BBC’s Operating Licence, to publish in Annual Report, how it has reflected, represented and served the diverse communities of the whole of the United Kingdom, including with regards to disability.

In meeting these obligations, the BBC is operationally and editorially independent, and BBC programming decisions are a matter for the BBC, not for the Government.

As the BBC’s independent regulator, Ofcom is responsible for holding the BBC to account on these regulatory obligations.

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