S4C: 'Listen to Wales' Voice' – the message to Westminster
30 March 2011
Journalists joined other campaigners from Wales on Wednesday in a lobby of the Westminster parliament to defend the Welsh language broadcaster S4C.
The UK government is trying to change the law so it can cut its grant to S4C by 94 per cent, and fund the channel through the BBC licence fee in future. The leaders of the four main parties in Wales have called on the government to halt its plans for S4C and instead hold a full review of the channel.
Twenty-four organisations; including the Writers Guild, journalists union the NUJ, BECTU, the Musicians Union, and actors union Equity have written to the government asking it to scrap the plans.
Members of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society) will present a 12,000 strong petition to the Wales Office opposing the cuts to S4C.
Menna Machreth, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg's broadcasting spokesperson said:
"It's time for the politicians to listen to Wales's voice. The Government has refused to listen to the leaders of the four main parties in Wales and every voluntary group who cares about the language.
"There is no need for the government to make a ninety-four percent cut to the channel's grant, it's completely unfair. They'd rather to stick to the deal made between them and the BBC in twenty-four hours instead of listening to the voice of the people of Wales. It's shameful."
David Donovan, speaking on behalf of the FEU (the Federation of Entertainment Unions) said:
"The future of our only Welsh language TV channel hangs in the balance, which is a direct threat to the language and our culture. S4C is facing severe cuts and a takeover by the BBC. After 2015, there is no certainty that any money will go to the channel at all."
Ken Smith, Chair of NUJ Wales, added:
"The proposed cuts to both the S4C and BBC Wales budgets, along with the proposal to fund S4C from the licence fee, will lead to job cuts and a drop in programme quality that will be vigorously resisted by the NUJ."