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Michael Grade

Press Releases

New BBC Trust to represent the public interest


The Government today announced the appointment of eight members to join the new BBC Trust that will replace the Board of Governors from 1 January 2007.

 

They are: Chitra Bharucha, Diane Coyle, Alison Hastings, Patricia Hodgson, Rotha Johnston, Janet Lewis-Jones, David Liddiment and Mehmuda Mian Pritchard.

 

Michael Grade, the Chairman designate of the new BBC Trust, welcomed their appointment.

 

He said: "The new BBC Trust has a very different role from that of the Board of Governors it replaces.

 

"The new Charter requires that the Trust is independent of BBC management representing the interests of licence fee payers.

 

"We must consult the public to ensure our decisions are properly informed by those who pay for the BBC.

 

"The Trust will recognise that every licence fee payer also has an interest in the wider choice offered across the industry.

 

"One of our first tasks as Trustees will be to consult the public about the priorities we should set BBC management to meet the 'Six Public Purposes' laid out in the new Charter.

 

"This will include the first of the Trust's regular major audience research surveys, asking the public how the BBC is performing, plus an early meeting of the new Audience Councils from around the UK.

 

"For the first time, the public will help set the strategic agenda for its BBC."

 

The 12 Trustees, from around the UK, bring a wide range of experience and expertise from broadcasting, regulation, newspapers, commerce, competition and economics.

 

Chitra Bharucha Diane Coyle Alison Hastings Patricia Hodgson
Rotha Johnston Janet Lewis-Jones David Liddiment Mehmuda Mian Pritchard
Michael Grade Dermot Gleeson Jeremy Peat Richard Tait

 

"The combined experience and expertise of the Trustees qualifies the new BBC Trust to meet the Charter requirements and the public's expectations of quality, efficiency and editorial independence," added Michael Grade.

 

"With the Trust in place the process to fill the non-executive positions on the Executive Board can be completed.

 

"They will bring business and managerial skills to the new Executive Board to assist the management in delivering the strategy set by the Trust."

 

Michael Grade paid tribute to the Governors whom the Trustees will replace, saying: "The existing Board of Governors remains dedicated to its public service duties and I am very grateful to all my colleagues who will continue to work on behalf of licence fee payers until the expiry of the current Charter."

 

The new Trustees, who will join Michael Grade, Dermot Gleeson, Jeremy Peat and Richard Tait to complete the 12 member BBC Trust, have each commented on their appointment.

 

Chitra Bharucha, the new Vice-Chairman of the BBC Trust, a former consultant haematologist who now chairs General Medical Council panels that decide on the fitness of doctors to practise medicine said:

 

"Organisations in receipt of public money tasked with providing a quality service are rightly subjected to intense scrutiny. My experience is that this is best achieved when based on evidence and consultation with those receiving and using the service. Transparency is another pre-requisite in order to ensure confidence in the system. I am looking forward to making my contribution to the work of the Trust."

 

Diane Coyle, an economist, member of the Competition Commission and former Economics Editor of The Independent, said:

 

"I'm looking forward immensely to the opportunity to bring my experience in the economics of new technologies and competition policy to the important choices the BBC Trust will face in the years ahead. I'm also keen to learn more about what the public thinks, especially with such fast technological change."

 

Alison Hastings, the Trustee for England, who is a former regional newspaper editor, said:

 

"I am delighted to be appointed to the new BBC Trust and in particular to have specific responsibility for the English Regions. My work as a local newspaper reporter and regional newspaper editor has meant that the views of the public have always been paramount to me, and I appreciate the importance of connecting with local communities. I was born in the South East of England, have spent the past 13 years living, working and raising children in the North East and North West, and have always been very keen for organisations to truly represent the country as a whole."

 

Patricia Hodgson, the former Chief Executive of the Independent Television Commission (ITC), said:

 

"I hope my experience of the importance of providing a level playing field between operators in this new media world will help ensure the public's best interest is always served in our collective decision-making responsibilities."

 

Rotha Johnston, an independent businesswoman and the Trustee for Northern Ireland, said:

 

"I am delighted to have been appointed to the BBC Trust to represent the views of licence fee payers, and particularly in Northern Ireland. I am looking forward to working with the Audience Council to listen to and understand the public's expectations in return for their licence fee. I intend to carry out all my duties with rigour and will make sure that the BBC provides an efficient and accountable public broadcasting service."

 

Janet Lewis-Jones, the Trustee for Wales, said:

 

"I look forward to working with the new Audience Council for Wales in making sure that the expectations of licence fee payers in Wales are fully reflected in the work of the new BBC Trust as whole. And I hope my experience at S4C and the British Board of Film Classification will help me do the best job for licence fee payers across the UK."

 

David Liddiment, former Director of Programmes at ITV, said:

 

"I have long argued for greater independence in the governance of the BBC and am delighted to have the opportunity as a founding member of the new Trust to help put that into practice. I believe that my extensive experience in public service broadcasting will be valuable in ensuring the BBC meets the public's high expectations of quality services delivered efficiently in return for their licence fee."

 

Mehmuda Mian Pritchard, a solicitor and Independent Police Complaints Commissioner since 2004, said:

 

"I am delighted to be a member of the new BBC Trust. It is right and proper that there is robust and independent scrutiny of public bodies such as the BBC and I am looking forward to discharging my responsibilities in the interests of all licence fee payers."

 

The appointment of the new Trustees takes effect from 1 November 2006. They will meet on several occasions this year to prepare for the Trust assuming its responsibilities from 1 January 2007.

 

All necessary arrangements will be put in place during this time to guard against any potential conflicts of interest.

 

The Board of Governors remains the BBC's governing body until 31 December 2006.

 

Notes to Editors

 

1. Biographical information

 

Dr Chitra Bharucha (Vice Chairman)

 

After a career in Medicine as Deputy Director, Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service and Consultant Clinical Haematologist, Belfast City Hospital, Dr Chitra Bharucha chairs Fitness to Practise Adjudication Panels of the General Medical Council, having served as a Council member from 1999 to 2003.

 

She was the Northern Ireland Member of Independent Television Commission (ITC) from April 2001 until ITC was subsumed into Ofcom in December 2003 and she served on the BBC Broadcasting Council for Northern Ireland from 1996 to 1999.

 

She was appointed to the Advertising Standards Authority (Broadcast) Council in 2004, chairs the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs for the Food Standards Agency and was appointed Lay Member of Review Body for Judicial Complaints when it was created in 2006.

 

Chitra was born in Madurai, India and has lived in the UK since 1972.

 

Diane Coyle (General member)

 

Diane Coyle is an economic consultant specialising in new technologies and globalisation and has been a member of the Competition Commission since 2001.

 

She is a frequent commentator on radio and television and has written many books and articles on economics including the forthcoming The Soulful Science, and Sex, Drugs and Economics.

 

She was the Economics Editor of The Independent newspaper (UK) from 1993 to 2001, and has a PhD from Harvard.

 

She is married to Rory Cellan-Jones, a BBC journalist.

 

Dermot Gleeson (General member)

 

BBC Governor since November 2000 (appointed for a second four-year term in August 2004). Deputy Chairman of the BBC Pension Scheme Trustees.

 

Chairman of the M J Gleeson Group plc. Chairman of Major Contractors Group from 2003 to 2005. A director of the Housing Corporation from 1990 to 1995 and of the Construction Industry Training Board from 1995 to 2002.

 

Former Head of the Home Affairs Section of the Conservative Research Department and a member of Christopher Tugendhat's cabinet in the European Commission from 1977 to 1979.

 

Michael Grade CBE (Chairman)

 

BBC Chairman since May 2004. Chairman of Pinewood Shepperton plc since 2000 and Ocado since October 2006. Director of Charlton Athletic FC since 1997.

 

Former journalist and theatrical agent.

 

At LWT from 1973 to 1981, latterly as Director of Programmes; President, Embassy Television in Hollywood from 1981 to 1984; at the BBC from 1984 to 1987, latterly as Managing Director of Television Designate; Chief Executive, Channel 4 from 1988 to 1997; at First Leisure Corporation from 1997 to 2000, latterly as Chief Executive; Chairman, Camelot from 2002 to 2004; Director; SMG from 2003 to 2004; at The Television Corporation, latterly as interim Chairman from 2003 to 2004; Chairman of Hemscott Group from 2000 to September 2006. Vice-President of Bafta since June 2004.

 

Alison Hastings (Trustee for England)

 

Alison Hastings is a former local newspaper journalist and editor of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle from 1996 to 2002.

 

She is currently a media consultant whose clients include Camelot, Liverpool City Council and the Press Complaints Commission.

 

She served on the Press Complaints Commission from 1999 to 2002. She is a member of the Society of Editors.

 

She lives with her partner, David Fleming, in Birkenhead. They have five children.

 

Dame Patricia Hodgson DBE (General member)

 

Patricia Hodgson is Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge.

 

She is a Governor of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Higher Education Council for England as well as of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

 

She is a non-executive director of the Competition Commission.

 

Patricia previously had a long career in the media, originally as a producer and an independent journalist, then, successively, as Deputy Secretary, Secretary, Head of Policy and Main Board Director (Policy and Planning) in the BBC.

 

Until the end of 2003 she was Chief Executive of the Independent Television Commission (ITC).

 

From 2004 to 2006 she was Chair of the Higher Education Regulation Review Group. Between 1993 and 1999 she was a member of the then Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

 

She has been a member of the Statistics Commission, Vice President of the Royal Television Society, the London Arts Board and a Trustee of the Prince's Youth Business Trust.

 

Rotha Johnston CBE (Trustee for Northern Ireland)

 

Rotha Johnston is an entrepreneur in commerce and property.

 

She is a non-executive Director of Allied Irish Bank (UK) plc and a member of its Audit Committee and Vice Chair of Invest Northern Ireland, both since 2002.

 

She is also a non executive member of the Northern Ireland Office Board.

 

She was previously a shareholder and Director of Variety Foods (1995-2005) and has held appointments in the Labour Relations Agency and the Northern Ireland Economic Council.

 

She is married with four children.

 

Janet Lewis-Jones (Trustee for Wales)

 

Janet Lewis-Jones is Vice President of the British Board of Film Classification (since 1998), a trustee of the Baring Foundation and chairs the Membership Selection Panel of Glas Cymru (Welsh Water).

 

Following VSO she was called to the Bar and, after an early career in Whitehall, other public appointments have included membership of the Welsh Fourth Channel (S4C) Authority, the boards of the Strategic Rail Authority and British Waterways, and Commissioner for the Postal Services Commission.

 

She has been Vice President of the University of Wales (Lampeter).

 

Janet Lewis-Jones is a Welsh speaker.

 

David Liddiment (General member)

 

David Liddiment is a consultant to and non-executive Creative Director of the independent production company All3Media and the Producer of The Old Vic Theatre Company.

 

He is former Director of programmes at ITV (1997-2002), and his extensive broadcasting career has included a number of roles ranging from executive producer of Coronation Street, to Director of Programmes at Granada TV, Head of Entertainment Group for the BBC Television, and Deputy Managing Director and Director of Programmes at LWT.

 

His programme commissions at ITV/Granada included Pop Idol, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takewaway, Cracker, At Home with the Braithwaites, and, at the BBC, The Mrs Merton Show and Men Behaving Badly.

 

Mehmuda Mian Pritchard (General member)

 

Mehmuda is a Commissioner of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, London and South East Region.

 

Prior to that she was a member of the Police Complaints Authority from 1998.

 

Mehmuda was a solicitor working in private practice in Birmingham and is currently a non-executive director of the NHS Litigation Authority.

 

She also undertook a voluntary role as lay chair of independent review panels under the NHS complaints procedure, and is a former non-executive director of Northern Birmingham Mental Health Trust.

 

Jeremy Peat (Trustee for Scotland)

 

The BBC's National Governor for Scotland since January 2005. Chairman of the BBC Pension Trustees.

 

From 1993 until March 2005 Group Chief Economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland. Former economic adviser to the Treasury and the Scottish Office.

 

Visiting Professor Edinburgh University School of Management; Honorary Professor Heriot Watt University; member, CBI Economic Affairs Committee; panel member of the Competition Commission; Vice-Chairman Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.

 

Appointed Director of the Hume Institute in January 2005.

 

Richard Tait CBE (General Member)

 

BBC Governor since August 2004.

 

Professor of Journalism and Director of the Centre for Journalism Studies, Cardiff University.

 

Editor-in-Chief of ITN from 1995 to 2002; Editor, Channel 4 News, 1987 to 1995.

 

At the BBC edited Newsnight, The Money Programme and the 1987 General Election Results Programme.

 

Vice-Chairman, International Press Institute; Fellow, Society of Editors and the Royal Television Society.

 

2. Terms and conditions of appointments

 

The eight new Trustees have each been appointed for a term of four years. They may seek a further and final term on completion of their first.

 

The four Trustees transitioning from the Board of Governors continue their existing terms:

 

Michael Grade: first appointed 17 May 2004 for a four year term;

Dermot Gleeson: reappointed 1 November 2004 for a second, four year term;

Jeremy Peat: first appointed 1 January 2005 for a four year term;

Richard Tait: first appointed 1 August 2004 for a four year term.

 

The Secretary of State of Culture, Media and Sport sets the level of remuneration for BBC Trustees and the DCMS announced the following remuneration in May this year:

 

Chairman: 140,000 (time commitment of around four days per week)

Vice-Chairman: 75,000 (time commitment of around 2.5 days per week)

National Trustees: 40,000 (time commitment of around two days per week)

Trustees: 35,000 (time commitment of around two days per week).

 

BBC Governance Unit

 

 

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Category: BBC
Date: 12.10.2006
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