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BBC Trust says MPs should have a vote on funding changes

Published 22/07/2015

John Whittingdale says the review of the BBC's royal charter would look at whether the broadcaster should continue to be
John Whittingdale says the review of the BBC's royal charter would look at whether the broadcaster should continue to be "all things to all people"

MPs should be given a vote on any future plans to change BBC funding, according to the corporation's governing body.

The call came in the B BC Trust's response to the Government's recent green paper and its confirmation t he BBC will take over responsibility for funding free TV licences for the over-75s from 2018/19.

The trust said that deal, which it described as being made "behind closed doors", was " regrettable" and called for " boundaries around the Government's involvement in the BBC".

It said the current 10-year charter could be extended by another year, adding: " We suggest including a legal obligation in the next charter for Government to consult publicly with the BBC's regulator as part of any funding negotiations, and to seek parliamentary approval for any change to the BBC's funding."

Unveiling the green paper last week, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said the review of the BBC's royal charter would look at whether the broadcaster should continue to be "all things to all people" or have a more "precisely targeted" mission.

The trust, which has also published a series of questions asking audiences for their views on the BBC, said the broadcaster was built on "a broad mission" including news coverage and entertainment.

Its chairman Rona Fairhead said: " Charter review will ultimately decide what kind of programmes and services audiences get for the BBC they pay for, so the most important voice in the debate is that of the public and we'll ensure it is heard.

"We welcome the Government's recognition of the importance of the BBC and the value that it brings - that value is built on it providing something for everyone and its independence, which we know audiences support."

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