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BBC

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the management of the BBC as part of the charter renewal process regarding the proposed re-location of BBC departments to Manchester. (78147)

The Department has held numerous discussions with the management of the BBC on a wide range of issues as part of charter review, including on the BBC's proposals to move a significant amount of production outside London, particularly to the north west of England. The Government welcome the BBC's proposals in principle, subject to proper consideration of value for money.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will announce the new BBC licence fee settlement; and if she will make a statement. (77534)

The BBC’s current licence fee settlement runs until the end of financial year 2006-07. The Government are currently conducting a funding review to determine the level of the television licence fee to apply from April 2007. It will announce the outcome later this year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what account she will take of HM Treasury's forecast rate of growth of household income in determining the BBC's request for a licence fee increase of 2.3 per cent. above inflation; (78112)

(2) what account she will take of the licence fee increase agreed in 2001 in determining the appropriate level of the BBC licence fee in the future;

(3) how she plans to determine affordability in setting the appropriate future level of the BBC licence fee;

(4) what account she will take of commitments to ensure (a) efficiency savings and (b) the prevention of inflation of staff and talent costs at the BBC in determining the future level of the BBC licence fee.

The Government are currently conducting a funding review to determine the level of the licence fee to apply from April 2007. All relevant factors will be considered as part of the review.