Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, is urging her constituents to get involved in the debate about the future of the BBC. As the review of the BBC's Charter gets underway, she has written the following article, setting out her views:
"I am a big fan of the BBC. I believe its worldwide reputation for excellence is well deserved. It is one of our country's most important and valued institutions. I want the outcome of the Charter Review to be a vibrant BBC which continues to flourish and carries on making the outstanding content which we all enjoy so much.
The BBC is a national institution, paid for by the public. Over the current Charter period, it is due to spend more than £30 billion of public money. Ten years ago, the last time the BBC Charter was reviewed, the media landscape looked very different. The BBC has adapted to this changing landscape, and continues to be highly successful, attracting large and loyal audiences across the different platforms it now uses. But in the light of these profound changes to the way people consume TV and media content, the time is right to look afresh at the role of the BBC.
So we need to ask some important questions during this Charter Review. We should reflect on what the most important objectives of the BBC should be in an age where consumer choice is far more extensive than it ever has been before. We also need to establish what the BBC's scale and scope should be in the light of those objectives, how far it affects others in television, radio and online, and what the right structures are for its governance and regulation.
The Government recently set out a consultation which marks the start of the Charter Review process. No decisions have yet been made on what changes to the BBC might be needed and I encourage everyone to take part in the consultation. It is right that as many people as possible have their say about the kind of BBC they want. The consultation is available here:
With this consultation, and the publication of topics for debate and options for change, the Government wishes to stimulate a national debate over the coming months as together we map out the future for one of our nation's best-loved institutions.