Audience Council England members help to advise the BBC Trust, the BBC’s governing body, in order to ensure that the views of audiences in England are brought to bear on the work of the Trust.
We do this by giving our independent advice about how well the BBC is serving audiences in England on TV, radio and online. We meet regularly, seven times each year, in different parts of England – for instance over the last year we’ve met in Bristol, Birmingham, London and Salford. The briefings we receive from BBC management and the Trust unit staff covering national and regional programming, distribution and technology, policy and strategy all help us to be fully informed in our discussions and considerations on behalf of the audience in England.
You can find out more about our discussions and who we meet from the minutes of our meetings.
Each year we also publish an Annual Review which sets out in more detail the range and scope of our work including our annual assessment of the performance of the BBC in England. Around 96 per cent of people in England use some of the BBC’s services and through the Annual Review we highlight the:-
- strengths and highlights of the year
- key areas for development going forward
- audience priorities for the coming year
There are also Audience Councils in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Members from all four councils get together at least once a year to discuss issues important to audiences across the UK.
These and other discussions at our panel and council meetings help to ensure that the audience point of view and perspective is foremost in the Trust’s regular reviews of BBC services, and draws the Trust’s attention to issues of importance to audiences as they arise.
We are consulted on any new service proposals and you can read our contributions to the Trust consultations here.
In addition to Alison Hastings, the Trust member for England, there are 12 members of the Audience Council, each representing one of the BBC’s broadcasting regions in England. We each lead a panel within our region, which has around 16 members. This ensures that we hear from and are informed by a diverse range of views and life experiences.