This is a summary of subjects discussed and conclusions reached
by the members of the English National Forum.
The English National Forum (ENF) met on Thursday, 23 June at the
University of Sheffield's Halifax Hall of Residence. Ten of the
12 members attended, with one deputy. Apologies were received from
the member unable to attend.
BBC managers present throughout the meeting were Louise Hall (Secretary
English Regions) and Fiona Lynch (Public Accountability Manager).
Paul Cannon, Deputy Editor, The Politics Show, and Andrew Lane,
Manager Television News Weather attended parts of the meeting.
2. Routine Business
Under 'Matters Arising' members gave their feedback on an induction
day for new Advisory Council Chairs. They were updated on: the Governors'
decision to publish in full the minutes of all advisory bodies under
the Freedom of Information Act from the autumn; and the broadcasting
unions' position on further strike action; and agreed to network
programme makers and commissioners being invited to future ENF dinners.
Ranjit Sondhi reported on the main business conducted at the March,
April, May and June Board
of Governors meetings.
An audit of ENF recommendations set alongside BBC developments
was presented to the Forum. It was agreed to forward it to the Chairman
of the BBC.
Members discussed the ENF's response to the Green Paper on the
future of the BBC and were advised of a proposed meeting between
the Culture Secretary or a DCMS minister and an ENF/Broadcasting
3. Main Agenda Items
Feedback on the ENF's Presentation to the Board of Governors:
Members were given feedback on the annual presentation to the Governors.
They believed one formal contact a year between the Forum and the
Governors was inadequate and recommended more regular future interaction.
Louise Hall was asked to commission a research paper on accountability
models and issues around 'representativeness.'
Joint Boards Conference Feedback: Ranjit Sondhi said the
conference was an annual event at which the Governors and BBC management
debated performance issues. It had become increasingly important
since the wider separation of the two bodies; it was the one time
all the members of the two boards met.
Future of the Advisory Councils: Members identified and
discussed their key criteria for the future shape and form of the
English Regions advisory structure. Louise Hall was asked to produce
a paper outlining a number of potential models for members to consider
in conjunction with a report being produced by Penny Young, Head
of Accountability Nations and Regions.
RAC Programme Reviews: Members reported on their respective
RAC reviews of The Politics Show, General Election coverage, Politics
England, Comic Relief, Nation on Film and the new weather graphics.
Retiring Members: Ranjit Sondhi paid tribute to retiring
members Tessa Gordziejko and Margaret Maden and thanked them for
their contributions over the years.