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THE HERALD FRIDAY AUGUST 19 2016


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THE BBC must do more to


5 News BBC must do more for Wales


to find ways to ensure audiences are kept informed about Welsh matters, according to a report by the BBC Trust The report, BBC Trust’s Service


review: BBC nations’ news and radio services, examined news and current affairs services on TV and online made in and for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It


concluded audience


expectations of BBC news were extremely high and, while most rated its programming highly, occasionally it fell short of expectations. The main conclusion was: “To


improve its services, the Trust recommends the BBC should plan how it can provide more content online, examine how minority language services should evolve, and make meeting audience expectations on news output a specific part of the BBC’s overall annual performance assessment.” It noted that audiences across all the nations considered the BBC needed to get better at holding decision- makers to account over its news programmes. The review found that the BBC’s


performance in Wales was strong, but it also highlighted that these services faced challenges. It said: “Particularly within the context of a deficit of other sources of Welsh news, the BBC will need to find ways to ensure audiences are kept informed about Welsh matters and that their expectations in areas such as Welsh political coverage and holding decision-makers to account are fully met.” Like the other nations, younger


Welsh audiences were still proving the hardest to reach, with older audiences remaining the main


consumers of BBC TV and radio services. BBC Radio Wales, the only


national radio station in the English language, had made various changes to strengthen its portrayal of contemporary Wales, said the report, with greater prominence for journalism and sport and some very popular comedy. The station reached 16 per cent of adults each week in 2015, but its reach was under pressure and has fallen since 2011. Radio Cymru reached 30 per


cent of fluent Welsh speakers, equivalent to 4.6 per cent of all adults in Wales. “While general impressions of quality are strong and average listening hours are high, its reach has declined since 2011,” the Trust said. In line with trends for BBC TV


overall, the reach of BBC Wales’ news and current affairs output fell from 54 per cent in 2011 to 50 per cent in 2015. John Toner, national organiser


Wales, said: “The NUJ welcomes the conclusion that the BBC must increase its efforts to inform audiences about Welsh matters and political coverage, and that the corporation has a vital role to


play in holding decision-makers to account. In our Media Manifesto for Wales, the NUJ argued for a ‘strong publicly-owned,


licence-fee-


funded BBC and greater oversight and scrutiny of public service broadcasting in Wales by the Welsh Government and Assembly’. We remain adamant that such scrutiny by the democratically-elected Assembly is essential to deliver the service that audiences need. “The BBC is the only provider


of comprehensive Welsh language radio coverage and we would not wish to see it packaged into a minority language ghetto. Welsh is spoken by more than 500,000 people in Wales, largely concentrated in remote areas where people rely on the BBC for much of their coverage of news and current affairs. Any attempt to dilute Welsh language broadcasting will be damaging to the future of the language itself. In fact, ant move to dilute news and current affairs coverage on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru would be a retrograde step. We have arranged a meeting with Bethan Jenkins, Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, to address these points, among others.”


Not guilty plea to assaulting officer AN ABERYSTWYTH offender


pleaded not guilty to assaulting a police officer in the execution of their duty, while a second offence of threatening behaviour was discontinued, Magistrates heard.


Ian Leslie Taylor, 28, of Taliesin


, pleaded not guilty to the assault offence at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Aug 17), which relates to events on June 16 in Aberystwyth.


Magistrates imposed an


adjournment for September 26 at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court for an application to be served. Taylor was released on unconditional bail until then.


Town Council criticised aſter April’s death MACHYNLLETH TOWN


COUNCIL has been criticised for the way it handled public money after they set up a bank account for murdered schoolgirl April Jones. An audit said that the council had been operating ‘outside its powers’. The £71,663 which was collected


was transferred to April’s fund but the Town Council should not have held it. In a separate matter, the report


found that over £5,000 of VAT repayments were also missed by the council and that they did not keep satisfactory records. An extraordinary meeting has been called for Wednesday (Aug 24)


to discuss the findings of the auditors’ BDO. The BDO said in their report: “The


council had no power to collect this money or to establish a bank account for its retention, but ultimately they did not intend to collect the money - they were just given it by the public. “When people came into the office


and gave them money, they should not have accepted the money.” The report also stated that the


errors were down to the former clerk’s ‘failure to maintain proper records’. Back in October 2012, April had


been playing outside her home in Machynlleth when she went missing.


This sparked one of the biggest


searches in UK history and her killer, Mark Bridger, was convicted of her murder. Traces of April’s blood were found


at his cottage in Ceinws but, at his trial in 2013, he denied abducting her. Bridger, who was found to have had


child pornography on his laptop, stated that he had run her over accidentally. However, the jury did not believe


him and he was given a whole-life jail term. It is believed that April’s body


was dismembered and that Bridger discarded limbs at various locations around his home.


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