Thank you for contacting me about the BBC.
The BBC is operationally, editorially, and managerially independent of Government. Quite rightly, there is no provision for the Government to intervene in the corporation's day-to-day operations.
The BBC Charter, which came into force in January 2017, created a new unitary board for the BBC which is collectively responsible for ensuring that the BBC acts in the public interest and meets its wider Charter obligations. It therefore has overall responsibility for governance of the BBC. Along with other duties, it measures the BBC’s performance, including in relation to programmes, services, and standards. It is also required to investigate issues relating to excessive management layers and overall staffing levels, which could deliver significant further efficiency savings.
I share the Government's disappointment at the extent of the BBC’s proposed changes to local radio services.
The Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure has said that the BBC must make sure it continues to provide distinctive and genuinely local services, with content that reflects and represents people and communities from all corners of the UK. The Government also expects Ofcom, as regulator of the BBC, to ensure the BBC is robustly held to account in delivering its public service duties. The Secretary of State has already asked Ofcom about how they are considering this issue, and I understand Ofcom is continuing to discuss these proposals with the BBC.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.