The S4C Authority is to launch a Judicial Review of the Government’s decision to effectively merge S4C with the BBC.
S4C had no prior knowledge of discussions between the BBC and the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, which will mean the BBC having effective control over the finances and operations of the Welsh language channel.
Chair of S4C, John Walter Jones said, “The effect of the financial cuts agreed between Jeremy Hunt and the BBC will have a disastrous effect for viewers across Wales, and this at a time when the BBC has already cut spending on both English and Welsh language programming in Wales. Under such an arrangement it is inevitable that Welsh language television would have to compete with every other BBC service and the S4C Authority believes that this would pose a serious risk to the provision of Welsh language television.
“I am astounded at the contempt that the London government has shown not just towards S4C, but also towards the Welsh people and indeed the language itself. I was informed of these ill-conceived plans by Mr Hunt, and was told that it was a non-negotiable agreement, only after they were leaked on the BBC last night. This is no way to conduct public affairs and surely is an affront to the good conduct of public policy and the democratic process.
“The S4C Authority is unanimous in its desire to seek a Judicial Review of Jeremy Hunt’s decision and the way it was taken behind closed doors without any kind of consultation with S4C”.