#DM18: Pledges to campaign for properly-funded S4C
21 April 2018
A campaign to mobilise politicians, broadcasters and civil groups to secure a vibrant and properly-resourced S4C was supported by DM.
The Welsh-speaking broadcaster has learned it will lose its government funding by 2022, which will cut almost £7m off its budget and all of its funding will come from the TV licence fee.
Nick Powell of the Welsh Executive Council (WEC) said the channel was a vital part of Welsh cultural life but its income had already been cut by nearly £20m in the past decade. “From its birth in the 1980s, S4C has gone from having secure and even generous funding to a shrinking and insecure budget," he said. "Now there will be no more money from the UK government.”
The WEC motion called for S4C to be funded and managed in Wales and overseen by the Welsh government and Assembly.
After the way S4C had been treated by Westminster, there was support to hand over the responsibility to the Welsh Assembly, but getting the money, the independence and the governance right would not be easy. “Bluntly, we want politicians to give us the money; we don’t want political control of editorial and operational policy. We need to look models in other countries,” he said.
George Herd, BBC Wales, said the cuts had been dangerous and divisive and put jobs at risk. The channel was essential for the many Welsh speakers but the issue was divisive because he already felt he had to “defend the existence of the language spoken by my own children to predominantly monoglot English speakers”.
Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd in Wales, a member of the NUJ’s cross-party Parliamentary Group and a guest speaker at DM, said it was an issue she would be able to support and pursue with the union.