Labour call on BBC to stop cuts to local reporting

Labour Councillor Sarah Adams Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Labour Councillor Sarah Adams Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Labour councillors from across our region have called on the BBC to protect regional programming.

The demand comes amidst a BBC review into regional programming, and reports of planned cuts to Sunday Politics Live and the award-winning Inside Out, which both have regionalised formats.

In a letter to the BBC’s Director of Nations and Regions and the Head of BBC England, councillors from Suffolk, Essex and beyond pledged their support to local investigative reporting and political debate programmes, highlighting their “essential role.”

The letter urges the BBC to commit to the return of regional programmes in the East of England after they were taken off air due to coronavirus.

Currently all Sunday politics shows have been replaced by a single national programme, whilst the next series of Inside Out, due this Autumn, has already been cancelled.

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The party said it recognised the challenges facing the BBC but urged it not to cut local reporting.

One of those who signed the letter was the Labour group leader on Suffolk County Council, Sarah Adams.

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“It give local people a chance to question local representatives,” said Ms Adams.

“And for local representatives to give views on concerns.

“It’s a vital part of our democracy.”

Ms Adams said that local programming had been particularly important during the coronavirus pandemic, letting people know what was going on.

“It really does give you a good view of what is going on locally,” said Ms Adams.

“I am for local politicians and local people telling it like it is.

“I think the BBC ought to seriously look at what the regional stuff does.”

The leader of Ipswich Borough Council, David Ellesmere and Labour group leader on Colchester Borough Council, Tina Bourne, also signed the letter.

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