The English National Forum (ENF) met on Sunday and Monday, 7-8 November
2004 at the BBC in Birmingham. Eleven of the 12 members attended,
with one apology.
BBC managers present throughout the main meeting on 8 November were:
Andy Griffee (Controller English Regions), Louise Hall (Secretary
English Regions), Fiona Lynch (Public Accountability Manager, English
Regions) Helen Thomas (Head of Regional and Local Programmes, Yorkshire
& Lincolnshire), Tamsin O'Brien (Head of Regional and Local
Programmes, Yorkshire), and Frances Bryant (Public Accountability
Manager, English Regions).
Michael Grade (BBC, Chairman), Phil Bernie (Sports Editor, TV Sports),
and Mihir Warty (Head of Strategy, BBC Sport) attended for parts
of the meeting.
2. Routine Business
Members were briefed on the outcome of the first of two meetings
being held with advisory council members to explore on-screen diversity.
Louise Hall updated members on the accountability arrangements
for the new 12th BBC region (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire).
It was agreed to focus on some of the 'media literacy' elements
for the English Regions 2004 External Assessment exercise, based
on four community buses in the north of England. Louise Hall suggested
the names of some potential external assessors and invited members
to contact her with their ideas for any others.
Ranjit Sondhi outlined the business conducted at the Board of Governors'
meetings held in July, September and October. (See the summaries
of these meetings).
3. Main Agenda Items
Controller English Regions Report: Andy Griffee presented his management
report to the Forum. He also updated members on the Building Public
Value challenges and opportunities facing the English Regions.
Performance Against Objectives: Guidance: Louise Hall discussed
the criteria for measuring the delivery of public value, namely
reach, impact, quality and value for money. She presented members
with a template for future Head of Regional and Local Programmes'
reports to RACs based on the four criteria, and a series of objective
based questions for RAC Chairs to use for their councils' end of
year assessments of English Regions' services.
RAC Programme Reviews: ENF members summarised their members' reviews
of general BBC sports coverage, Sports Relief, Olympics coverage
and Restoration II.
ENF Seminar 2005: Every other year the ENF holds a seminar at which
different aspects of accountability, and BBC programmes and services
are explored. The next seminar is due to be held in June 2005. Louise
Hall proposed it be used to explore issues around digital developments.
Members accepted these proposals.
RAC Half Year Reports: Members produce a half year summary of RAC
business to date which is used to identify key issues emerging from
the councils. At this meeting members also discussed the additional
uses to which the reports could be put.
Network Handover to the Regions: Bernie Steed said that for people
in the Channel Islands which were not part of the United Kingdom,
the network news handover to the regional news programmes was unsatisfactory.
He summarised the discussions at a meeting involving Roger Mosey,
the BBC's Head of Television News, on the subject. Andy Griffee
confirmed that, as a result, the South West news team was exploring
the possibility of a local solution.
Michael Grade, BBC Chairman: Michael Grade responded to the issues
raised by RACs on Building Public Value and answered members' questions
on governance and accountability.