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Local Television Services (North-east Wales)

Volume 590: debated on Thursday 15 January 2015

5. What assessment he has made of the potential benefits of the introduction of a local television service in north-east Wales. (906997)

Local TV will increase the range and availability of local news, information and other local programming. Ofcom awarded the local TV licence for Mold, which covers parts of north-east Wales, in January 2014. The successful bidder for the licence, Bay TV, has two years from the licence award to begin broadcasting.

The licence granted does not cover Wrexham, which is the largest town in north-east Wales. MPs from all parties in north Wales support the extension of the current licence to cover the largest population centre, which all parties believe would be in the best interest of improving the very limited broadcasting that exists in north Wales—we have no BBC local radio, for example. Will the Minister please meet north Wales MPs in order to take this forward?

I know that the hon. Gentleman and, indeed, other MPs met Ofcom at the end of last year. There are some technical difficulties involved in broadcasting to Wrexham. Unfortunately, because of those technical difficulties to do with spectrum, local TV cannot broadcast in all areas. I know that Ofcom will write to the hon. Gentleman. I would, of course, be delighted to have a meeting with him and any other interested MPs to discuss the issue further.