Prime Minister, David Cameron to personally look into S4C funding

04/02/2016

Plaid Cymru’s Gwynedd Leader, Dyfed Edwards has today welcomed the news that the Prime Minister, David Cameron has personally taken up concerns relating to the future funding of S4C. 

The only Welsh language TV channel in the world, Plaid’s Gwynedd Leader has made the case to Westminster that funding should not be cut further at S4C due to its contribution, not only as a Welsh language public service sharing information, education and entertainment but also to the future survival of the Welsh language.  

“I have received a letter from Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy at Westminster confirming that the Prime Minister has taken this matter up personally with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale MP.

“I have been told that the Secretary of State for Culture is now considering options regarding both a review of the broadcaster and the funding situation, with an announcement imminent.

“This is hopefully a sign of good news for Welsh language broadcasting, and that pressure is mounting on the Tory government to fulfil their manifesto promise to “safeguard the funding and editorial independence of S4C” channel’s funding,” said Councillor Edwards.

In last November’s autumn statement Chancellor George Osborne announced the money S4C receives will be further cut from £6.7 million to £5 million by 2019.

Plaid’s Gwynedd Leader continued: “There is clear reference in the original Broadcasting Bill that S4C should receive sufficient funding to carry out its role of providing Welsh language TV services throughout Wales and beyond. Obviously the autumn statement announcement contradicts that.

“The channel is an integral part of the Welsh infrastructure, exactly as it was intended back in 1982 when the channel was first established.

“To us here in Gwynedd, where the majority of S4C viewers live, it offers so much more. It plays a significant part in our lively creative arts industry which feeds into S4C programming, many through the BBC. It is this context that the UK Tory Government and the Prime Minister needs to understand when making any budget decisions.”

The BBC has an important base in Bangor and there are also a number of major independent TV companies based in Gwynedd who employ local Welsh speaking people, which in turn helps sustain the economic and social fabric of Gwynedd communities. It is an industry offering quality jobs within Gwynedd. These are quality skilled jobs feeding into the local economy.

All Gwynedd Councillors voted unanimously to Plaid Cymru’s notice of motion in December to publicly declare the county’s fierce opposition to any further cuts to S4C funding.