Saturday, 8 October 2011

Lib Dem AM slates own party over S4C cuts

Lib Dem Assembly Member Aled Roberts has slammed his own party over cuts to S4C's budget.

Speaking at a Cymdeithas yr Iaith rally in Wrecsam today he said "The [UK] coalition government's plans will harm broadcasting in Wales. The statement by the Minister [Jeremy Hunt] made hours after the Bill was passed - will mean we have potentially no Welsh Channel after 2015.

"If the Channel has no financial security, its independence is gone. That's not right."

He insisted he was not a rebel and said all four parties in Wales were against the moves to absorb S4C into the BBC, itself facing major cuts.

The rally, outside the BBC's centre in Wrecsam's Glyndwr University, also heard from local Labour MP Ian Lucas. Previously hostile to the Welsh language, he said he "believed in diversity in broadcasting in Wales. I will support a properly funded S4C, an independent S4C."

Cllr Marc Jones, leader of the Plaid Cymru group on Wrecsam council, said we should expect nothing else but attacks on the public sector from the Tories but we should remember that S4C is unique - as the only television channel born of struggle and protest. He attacked the way the channel had become remote from its original roots in Welsh communities and had become corporate and complacent.
"S4C is in crisis at the moment. But in every crisis there is opportunity - this is our chance to reclaim S4C as 'Sianel Pobl Cymru' - the people's channel - rather than Sianel Crachach Cymru. Let's re-launch S4C as an independent channel free from control in London."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he should ask his colleague Peter Black on his thoughts on S4C, from my recollections Peter has been agitating regarding the £100 million given to S4C for a while now.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that when the decision was made at the DCMS committee at Westminster last month, the LibDem MP for Ceredigion, Mark Williams, voted with Plaid and Labour against including S4C in the Public Bodies Bill (handing it over to a cutback BBC). However, Tories got the vote carried by one, because the LibDem MP for Somerton and Frome, David Heath, overruled the 'Welsh LibDems'. Someone should tell Aled Roberts that the LibDems in Wales has no voice in this matter, and he is a member of the party where English LibDem MPs overrule their Welsh colleagues. If Aled wants to back up his comments, his first act should be to rip up his LibDem membership card.