Reversal of proposed changes to BBC Parliament

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This petition calls on Gavin Allen Controller of Programming at the BBC to reassess and reverse planned changes to the BBC Parliament channel. These changes include cutting all bespoke programming on the channel. The channel will also not air during the weeks when the UK Parliament or the devolved legislatures are not sitting. We believe that these measures are short-sighted, now more than ever we need informed political programming.  

Under the current proposals the channel would lose all of its explanatory programming and graphics. The weekly and daily political round-ups on the channel are very important and informative, cutting back on them will be damaging to viewers. BBC Parliament is also known for its repeat showings of archive election coverage. For example: the channel's repeat showing of the 1997 UK general election in September 2017 received a lot of media attention and positive feedback from viewers on twitter. Such programming is important in order to mark historic anniversaries, and to view how our political landscape has changed and developed. Scrapping these election repeats does not make financial sense. The election repeats should be expanded upon to include elections to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish devolved parliaments instead of being abandoned completely.

BBC Parliament already operates on a shoestring budget in comparison to the BBC's other channels. It currently receives £10 million of the BBC's £2.4 billion pound television budget. If cuts are to be made to programming they should be made elsewhere. BBC Parliament has a unique remit to make democracy more accessible to the wider public. We fear that these proposals by the BBC will undermine the years of hard work done by journalists at the channel to make the UK Parliament and devolved legislatures accessible to all.

Through this petition we call on the BBC's controller of programming Gavin Allen to reverse these proposed cuts to BBC Parliament. This channel is not just about showing a live stream of Parliament. BBC Parliament aims to inform, educate and entertain the general public through its political programming. Impartial journalism is at the core of what makes the BBC such a great public service broadcaster - we must not lose sight of this through these proposed cuts which will only resolve in short term financial gain for the BBC Trust at a long term cost to viewers.



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