In a letter to the Trust Chair, Sir Michael Lyons, Anna Home, Chair of the Save Kids’ TV Executive Committee, says:
We write to you as a group of organisations and individuals concerned about the level of provision of home-grown, public service children’s content in the UK.Guild Chair, Bernie Corbett, is one of the signatories of the letter.
The BBC has rightly identified this as one of the five content priorities in its current strategic review.
UK-made programming reflects the diverse lives British children lead today, representing society and the world around them in a way imported shows never can. Yet home-grown programming faces a well-documented crisis. Colette Bowe, Chair of Ofcom, recently told MPs that “We are sleepwalking into a situation where we do not have UK-generated content of a high quality for our kids.”
The BBC's own research, as well as Ofcom's, shows that parents strongly support having UK children's programming on the trusted, advertising-free services of the BBC.
However, BBC management proposes an increase of only £10m a year in the budget for children’s content – less than 2% of its total £600m re-prioritisation proposals. We call on the BBC Trust to ensure the BBC genuinely prioritises UK children’s content, and provides a significant financial commitment over the long term. To fund a substantial increase, the BBC could reduce imports such as Hollywood movies, over and above management’s modest proposal of a 20% cut. This would free up to £100m a year for British content, of which children's should be a priority.