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Long Time No See - Episode 5
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Editor's note. Feedback, Radio 4's weekly accountability programme, is back on-air - and we'll be publishing an item from the programme each week here on the blog for your reactions. This week Roger Bolton scooped an on-the-spot interview with Sir Michael Lyons right after he announced the new regime for executive and presenter pay. He was at a Voice of the Listener and Viewer conference in London - SB

When the Conservatives were in opposition they did not hide their view that the BBC Trust had failed and would be replaced when they came into office.

Now they are in government, in coalition with the Liberal democrats, they seem, if not to have changed their minds, then to regard the future of the Trust as something that can be left to a later date, while they deal with more pressing matters.

So Sir Michael Lyons, the Trust's Chairman, is back in business and determined to show the Government that he is in charge and that he understands that those who spend the public money have to be parsimonious, more efficient and more transparent.

I heard him make his first major post election speech on Wednesday evening at a seminar of the organisation Voice of the Listener and Viewer, which is passionate about keeping the BBC on the path of public service broadcasting.

The seminar took place in a room in the Society of Antiquaries in London, which is dominated by a stern portrait of the Tudor Queen, Bloody Mary, who ordered quite a lot of beheadings not to say burnings in her time.

Indeed some of her victims were hung, drawn and quartered.

Sir Michael appeared undaunted by her steely glare, but his audience was full of other formidable ladies, and men of course.

After an excerpt from his speech you'll hear me talking with some VLV members and then my interview with Sir Michael:

Roger Bolton presents Feedback on BBC Radio 4

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by Tramp

    on 4 Jul 2010 19:10

    Michael Lyons says the BBC should be open and transparent to the people who pay for it. Why is then that he has personally signed off a BBC decision to block Freedom of Information requests relating to the proposed closure of 6music? I asked for the reasoning behind the BBC management's decision to close 6music and after many months of delay - itself a violation of the BBC's FOI obligations - I received a short letter signed by Michael Lyons personally saying that the information would not be released in order to "protect the public interest". So the BBC has made a decision to close 6music without telling the people who pay for it why.

    Yet again the BBC Trust has confused the public interest with the interests of the BBC itself. It does not hold the management to account and it does not act in the interests of licence fee payers. Michael Lyons should not get another term - he has manifestly failed. And at the earliest opportunity the BBC Trust should be abolished too.

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