Musician joins TV licence boycott to secure devolution of broadcasting

A well-known north Wales musician, Geraint Lovgreen, has announced he is joining a boycott of the TV licence as part of a campaign to devolve control of broadcasting to Wales. 

At the start of the year, Heledd Gwyndaf, chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, announced she and other members of the society would refuse to pay for their TV licence fee until powers over broadcasting are devolved to Wales.  

S4C has had its budget cut by 40% since 2010. Euryn Ogwen Williams is conducting a review of the channel on behalf of the UK Government with a report due to be published by the end of the year. Pressure group Cymdeithas yr Iaith has argued this year's review of S4C is an opportunity to devolve broadcasting, adding that the Wales Officer Minister, Guto Bebb MP, has confirmed the review will  consider the matter. 

Explaining his reasons for joining the campaign, Caernarfon-based singer Geraint Lovgreen said: 

"The Welsh language and Welsh democracy are seriously suffering as a result of the Westminster-run broadcasting system at the moment.  The attacks on the Welsh language seen recently on BBC programmes, and the biased London-based attention given to matters like Scottish and Catalan independence show that British propoganda is broadcast to us from day to day. Controlling our own media in Wales will give us a chance to see the world through Welsh eyes." 

The majority of people in Wales want control over broadcasting from Westminster to Wales,  according to a YouGov published earlier this year, with 65% supporting devolving responsibility from London to the Assembly 

Heledd Gwyndaf, the society's chair, added: "From the lack of Welsh language on commercial radio and local TV and from the damaging cuts to S4C to the under representation of Wales in the media, it's clear that London is not controlling the media in the best interests of the people of Wales. Decisions over the media in Wales need to be made by the people of Wales - it's time to devolve broadcasting." 

"S4C's financial situation and its independence has become extremely fragile. It's also obvious that we have a massive democratic deficit in Wales: London-based broadcasters confuse people every day by reporting on matters that affect England only." 

"Now is the time to ensure we in Wales control our media in the best interests of all Wales' communities. And the public are with us on this. 

Over the summer, Cymdeithas yr Iaith published research showing that over £60 million extra would be available for public service broadcasting if the powers were devolved to Wales.