Commission appeals for more comments on future of Scottish broadcasting

A COMMISSION looking at the future of Scottish devolution is appealing for more submissions to help it decide whether broadcasting should remain the responsibility of Westminster, be devolved to the Scottish Parliament or – as seems most likely – comprise a mix of the two.

Yesterday, the Calman Commission, headed by Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, issued an interim report – its first – on a variety of issues, not least fiscal autonomy, which it appears to be ruling out.

As far as broadcasting is concerned, it says the evidence gathered thus far supports the mixed option, whereby broadcasting remains the responsibility of Westiminster but with much greater accountability to the Scottish Parliament.

In chapter of five of the report, Calman begins by recognising that a Scottish Broadcasting Commission – set up by First Minister, Alex Salmond, last year, and which issued its recommendations earlier this year – “stopped short of recommending further formal devolution at the present time, but did recommend a greater focus on Scotland and a greater role for the Scottish Parliament and Ministers in taking an active role in considering the broadcasting industry and services audiences in Scotland receive”.

And, while appealing for more views, ahead of publishing its final report, Calman says that what it has heard so far appears to support that view.