S4C - TV licence campaign

Following a discussion in a meeting of the ruling body of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg on the weekend, the group will be advising its members to start paying their TV licences again.

The organisation will continue to campaign for a strong future for Welsh television by calling for the devolution of broadcasting to Wales. Members of the campaign group will meet outside the Senedd, in Cardiff Bay, next week ( 12:30pm, Tuesday, 8th November) to lobby politicians in Cardiff Bay ahead of a debate on S4C in the Assembly chamber.

Bethan Williams, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg said:

"Because so many people have refused to pay their TV licence we have won concessions which will offer a degree of certainty for S4C - that's thanks to the enthusiasm and willingness of our members to campaign over the last year. There was a fair amount of discussion during our meeting, and we came to the conclusion that we'd continue to campaign in other ways. We thank all those who have been part of the campaign to date, and ask them to continue as the campaign moves on to the next stage."

"We oppose the agreement announced last week; a fait accompli which has been imposed on Wales without a democratic discussion on the future of S4C. We are disappointed that the S4C authority has been willing to co-operate in imposing such an agreement on us."

Adam Jones, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg's broadcasting spokesperson added:

"We don't accept the undemocratic agreement between the BBC and S4C which has disregarded the people of Wales completely. We strongly believe that the S4C authority and the BBC should have facilitated a consultation process with the channel's viewers instead of deciding on their own. This agreement emphasises the need to devolve broadcasting to Wales, so that the Westminster Government and the BBC in London, who have shown that they don't understand anything about broadcasting in Wales, cannot make arbitrary decisions about the future of our only Welsh language channel."

"We will now be pressing for our Assembly Members and other parties connected with the broadcasting world to take seriously the challenge facing us in Wales and support our call for the devolution of broadcasting to Wales."A decision was also made to co-operate with unions and other organisations in Wales to establish a shadow S4C authority which will oversee the work of the channel so as to avoid a repeat of the situation seen this year."