Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 17 June 2020
Two local Councillors, Michael Mullaney, and Mathew Hulbert, have called upon the BBC not to pull the plug on two of their popular television shows.
The two shows that the Councillors are trying to save are BBC Politics East Midlands, which focuses on local politics in the area, and Inside Out, a local investigations and stories show.
Mullaney and Hulbert believe that ‘the BBC licence fee needs to be guaranteed by the Government for at least the next decade, so that the BBC don’t feel forced into having to propose such changes’.
Because of this, they have aimed to ‘Save Midlands Media’ with their own campaign and are calling for the BBC to reaffirm its commitment to each of the nations and regions of the UK.
Michael Mullaney said: “Local and regional media plays a vital part in keeping people in touch with what is going on in their local area. It’s essential we keep them.
“Here in Hinckley and Bosworth and more generally in the Midlands, we are often forgotten, in what is still a very London and South East England orientated country.
“Losing more of our local media means losing more of our voice. Leicestershire and the Midlands have serious issues of underfunded services, lack of infrastructure and lack of social mobility and well paid jobs for people who live here.
“These issues need as many media outlets to be able to champion them.”
Mathew Hulbert has been a regular contributor to BBC television programmes as well as a radio broadcast journalist throughout his career.
Hulbert said: “I understand the financial constraints placed on the Corporation by the Government but cutting much loved and needed regional programmes is not the answer.
“So, I call on the government to give the BBC long-term certainty in regard to the licence fee and, in turn, I call on the BBC to recommit itself to properly serving all of the nations and regions of the UK and to reverse any plans to axe these two particular programmes.”
Today, the Hinckley Free Press has heard back from the BBC regarding the two popular regional television programmes.
The BBC explained that one of the two shows have not been axed but has been forced off air by the recent pandemic which hit England back in March.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: “Local and regional broadcasting is in the BBC’s DNA and we’re especially proud of how our services have performed during recent months.
“The pandemic has forced us to prioritise our resources, so we’ve cancelled the autumn series of Inside Out and are continuing with the single political programme for England through to the summer.
“The BBC does face very real financial challenges so naturally we are looking at what savings might be possible across the BBC.”