CAL Calls On UTV To Halt Redundancies And Consult

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 27 November 2008

Reference: CAL 07/08

UTV’s proposals to press ahead with redundancies were under scrutiny today at the meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure. UTV is planning this move in advance of the outcome of an ongoing Ofcom consultation on the future of public service broadcasting

Committee Chairperson Barry McElduff MLA, said, “All Members of the Committee spoke to the motion on Monday in the House which was passed unanimously. After the debate, the Speaker wrote to the Managing Director of UTV and to Ofcom detailing the agreed motion and enclosing the transcript.

“The Committee now calls on UTV and Ofcom to acknowledge the Assembly’s position on the UTV redundancies and the Ofcom consultation, and to respond to the Speaker’s letter immediately.”

The Committee heard evidence from a range of stakeholders, including UTV and the unions at its meeting last week. A debate then took place on the floor of the House on Monday, and all the Committee members strongly supported a motion requesting that UTV halt its redundancy programme until the outcome of the Ofcom consultation is known. The motion also called on Ofcom to extend the consultation period by a further three month. The motion was passed unanimously, and the Speaker has now written to UTV and Ofcom accordingly.