Four Party Leaders in Wales Call on PM to Keep S4C Independent; OPPONENTS UNITE TO ASK FOR INDEPENDENT REVIEW
Byline: DAVID WILLIAMSON
THE leaders of the four main parties in Wales have made a joint appeal to Prime Minister David Cameron for S4C to continue as an independent broadcaster.
They are calling for an independent review of S4C and defend its "incalculable importance" to the future of the Welsh language.
The letter follows the deal struck with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport which would involve the BBC funding S4C's activities from 2014. The Welsh politicians argue that it is the "settled will of the people of Wales" that S4C commissions programmes in Welsh.
The four leaders state: "We agree that there may be potential for increased efficiency and effectiveness in delivering Welsh language media services through improved partnership between the BBC and S4C. This partnership has been a feature of S4C's many successes in the last 30 years.
"We also observe that S4C has, since its creation, been the vehicle through which high quality broadcasting has been commissioned on behalf of and delivered toWelsh speaking audiences. This has been the settled will of the people of Wales regardless of the language they speak.
"It is of incalculable importance to the further strengthening of the Welsh language as well as to the successes of Wales' creative industrial sector, and it has an important role to play in ensuring much-needed plurality within Wales' media.
"However, we believe that the far-reaching changes which have been announced should be the subject of an independent review commissioned jointly by the UK Government and the Welsh Assembly Government. The review should put the delivery of high quality Welsh language broadcasting at its heart recognising that S4C has been the institution that has secured such a service since its creation.
"The review will also seek a sustainable and secure funding stream for Welsh language television. …