Audience Councils

Your voice

The most important function of the Audience Council for Northern Ireland is to engage with and listen to local BBC audiences, and to champion their views to the BBC Trust.

The effectiveness of the Council’s work depends on the feedback from local audiences. We want to hear your views on different aspects of the BBC’s services and issues which you think the Council might address on behalf of licence-fee payers in Northern Ireland.

There are several ways you can make your voice heard. The Council hosts a number of events each year to listen to the audience. You can also contact the Audience Council with your views and suggestions. To find out how to contact the Council and for information about events go to Get Involved.  

The Audience Council uses audience feedback to inform its advice to the BBC Trust. It makes formal submissions to Trust consultations on, for example, proposals for new BBC services or reviews of existing services.

Please see Council's submissions to BBC Trust consultations in 2014/16 below.

BBC Nations' radio, news and current affairs services

The Trust has conducted a review of BBC radio services in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as news and current affairs services - on television and online - in each of these nations.

The review aimed to assess how well the services are serving their audiences and performing against commitments set out in their respective service licences, as well as their ability to deliver these commitments in the future.

The Audience Council provided advice to the review on BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle, and BBC news and current affairs services in Northern Ireland. This advice and the Trust's findings are published below. 

BBC Charter Review

The BBC’s current Charter expires at the end of December 2016 and a Government-led process of Charter Review is underway that will inform decisions about the BBC’s future.

The BBC Trust is committed to ensuring that the voice of licence-fee payers is heard in this process. Since the launch of the Government’s review (July 2015), the Trust has conducted an extensive programme of public consultation and engagement, commissioned independent research and sought advice from its four Audience Councils to inform its discussions with Government, as the future of the BBC is decided.

Details of the Trust’s work on Charter Review and the Council's advice to the Trust are published here.

BBC network music and speech radio services

In 2014/15, the Trust conducted a review of the performance of the BBC's UK network music and speech radio services. The review aimed to assess how well the services were fulfilling the commitments defined in their respective service licences, whether changes to the licences were needed and whether the stations offered good value for money.

The Trust first looked at the BBC's six network music radio stations - Radio 1, 1Xtra 2, 3, 6 Music and the Asian Network - followed by the BBC's speech radio stations - Radio 4, 4 Extra and Radio 5 live, 5 live Sports Extra. The review of the services involved public consultation and audience research.

The Audience Council provided advice to the Trust, informed by its engagement with audiences in 2014 and its wider understanding of local audiences' needs and expectations of BBC network radio services.

The Council's advice to the Trust and the Trust's findings are published here.

Proposed changes to BBC television and online services

In December 2014, the BBC Executive submitted an application to the BBC Trust for a package of proposals that included - closing BBC Three as a broadcast service and its reinvention as an online-only offer, the launch of BBC One +1 channel, changes to BBC iPlayer and extended hours for CBBC.

The Trust decided that the proposals constituted a significant change to the UK public services and that it was therefore required to conduct a public value test (PVT) - a rigorous evidence-based process featuring two consultation periods.

The Trust published its provisional conclusions on the Executive’s proposals, following a period of public consultation, in which it identified a number of concerns about the short-term impact of the proposal for BBC Three. The Trust asked the BBC Executive to provide further information and launched a second consultation - focused on the Trust's provisional conclusions - when this information had been received. 

The Trust’s conclusions and the Audience Council’s advice to the Trust are published here.

Arrangements for the production and supply of BBC programmes and content

In January 2015, the Trust launched a review looking at the way that programmes and content are made and supplied to the BBC across television, radio and online by either independent production companies or BBC in-house production.

The Trust's findings and conclusions, and the Council's advice to the review, are published here.