Ranjit Sondhi welcomed Pat Loughrey, Controller,
Nations and Regions, Jane Root, Controller, BBC Two, Andy Griffee,
Controller, English Regions and Leo Devine, Head of Regional &
Local Programmes for the South West to the meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true
record with no amendments.
Matters Arising from the January Forum Meeting and Minutes
Members learned about a new programme identification system which
was to be demonstrated to programme makers and which would be launched
Members noted that where former Asian Network Advisory Council
(ANAC) members had attended Regional Advisory Council (RAC) meetings
the feedback had been positive.
Forum members were updated on the progress of the Members
Interest Groups and a pilot project involving those who had expressed
an interest in disability interests. It was hoped this pilot would
culminate in a workshop at the ENF seminar.
Ranjit Sondhi updated members of the BBCs decision to broadcast
unencrypted services on a new satellite once the current contract
with Sky ended and how the monies saved would be invested in English
Regions programmes and services.
Pat Loughrey updated members on the BBCs war coverage and
answered members questions on issues relating to it. He then
spoke about BBC English Regions performance in the past year
and the challenges facing it in the forthcoming year.
Performance Against Objectives and Statement of Programme
This item triggered a general discussion. It was agreed to discuss
it again after the Joint Boards Conference, and to further explore
it at the ENF seminar.
Charter Renewal Update
Pat Loughrey detailed the timetable leading up to Charter Renewal
and the BBCs contributions to the Renewal debate. He also
described some of the emerging themes around the future role of
the BBC as a public service broadcaster. Members were advised the
Chairman, Gavyn Davies, planned to invite RAC members to an event
at which Charter Renewal would be discussed.
Jane Root explained BBC Twos market position and its approach
to the coverage of arts and culture. She described some of the new
programme formats the channel had developed which had been adopted
by other networks and the relationship between BBC Two and other
BBC network channels. She then spoke about some of the challenges
facing BBC Two in terms of audiences and different genres of programmes.
ENF Meeting Venues
Members discussed where ENF meetings should be held and after some
debate agreed three of each four future meetings would be held in
Birmingham or London, and the fourth at another venue as and when
it was deemed appropriate.
RAC Annual Reports: Key Issues
Members reported the key issues from each of their regions and presented
their RAC views on the new Politics Show.
Draft ENF Annual Report
Members considered two versions of the draft report and after discussion
agreed to adopt the shorter version illustrated with specific regional
and local examples. In addition, it was agreed the executive summary
from the longer version would be added as an appendix.
ENF Presentation To The Board Of Governors
Ranjit Sondhi reminded members the three ENF representatives would
be Richard Mais, Chris Larson and Colin Smith.
The key issues to be taken to the Board of Governors when
the ENF presented its annual review in April were then agreed.
ENF Seminar Update
Members received an update on plans for the ENF seminar due to be
held in July.
Six workshops were being planned with each addressing a key issue.
Date, Time And Place Of Next Meeting
The afternoon of Monday, 7 July at Bath University prior to the
ENF Seminar Dinner.
Any Other Business
It was agreed RACs and Local Advisory Councils (LACs) had to be
given the regional and local objectives earlier if they were to
include their response to them in their annual reports. It was explained
the corporate objectives would be agreed at the Joint Boards Conference.
These would then be translated into English Regions objectives,
which would in turn be given to the Heads of Regional and Local
Programmes (HRLPs). HRLPs could then share them with their councils
and incorporate them into programme reviews throughout the year.
Items For Information
Members received a copy of the BBC Response to the Lambert Review
on News 24 and were given a briefing paper on the Communications