The Scottish Culture secretary, Fiona Hyslop MSP, has declared a meeting today with the head of BBC Scotland to have been “extremely useful and informative”, following concerns raised in the wake of an announcement that as many as 2,000 jobs, UK-wide (crica 120 in Scotland) could be going at the Corporation, as a result of a review of operations.
On Thursday, the BBC issued details of proposed cuts, under the review, Delivering Quality First. Hyslop was among many to respond, including immediately and also as an op ed on allmediascotland.
Following today's meeting with BBC Scotland Director Ken MacQuarrie to discuss the impact of budget cuts on Scotland, Hyslop said: “This was an extremely useful and informative discussion about how the BBC is dealing with the difficult decisions it is being forced to make by the licence fee settlement imposed by the UK Government.
“In response to my deep concerns about the effect these cuts will have on quality of output in Scotland – particularly in relation to news – Ken MacQuarrie reiterated the BBC's continuing commitment to maintaining the quality, range and depth of services on television, radio and online.
“In relation to job cuts, which are very worrying, I have urged the BBC to ensure it engages constructively with the relevant unions.
“Good progress has been made increasing levels of network production in Scotland and I have sought assurances that the BBC intends to maintain this momentum.
“We look forward to continuing discussions with the BBC on these matters in future.
“These BBC cuts are a result of the UK Government's licence fee negotiations, which took place behind closed doors over a 48-hour period. It is why the Scottish Government is calling for improvements in the Scotland Bill so that we are involved in future licence fee setting arrangements.”