Mann of the People: New BBC Charter Agreement is a good deal for us all

John Mann MP

John Mann MP

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Our national broadcaster the BBC is known around the world for its quality and independence, whether that’s making fantastic television such as Sherlock and Blue Planet or reporting on breaking news.

Last week the Government and the BBC published its Charter Agreement which I know many local people were concerned about given the Government’s previous approach to cutting the BBC’s budget and threats to its independence.

The new deal makes clear that the BBC will remain editorially independent and free from political interference which is essential if it is to remain a world class broadcaster.

I support these proposals and also the greater amount of transparency that will come with it, whether that’s the amount some presenters are paid or simply how the BBC is run and operated.

It is right that as licence fee payers we know how that money is spent.

Last week in Parliament, the Labour Party held a debate to hold the Government to account over its decision to put forward new Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) for our local NHS services which outline the future of those services.

I, and my fellow MPs, demanded that the future of our NHS be discussed in an open and transparent way but the Government are refusing to do this.

It’s a local as well as a national issue and that’s why I’ve met with the person in charge of the STP in our area – Sir Andrew Large – and with the leaders of our local hospital.

I am now waiting to hear what their proposals are and I will be making them public and sharing them locally whether or not they do so.

I can assure you that as soon as I have any information regarding our STP I will make it public as I know this is an issue many local people feel passionately about.

Aviva Insurance has just launched this year’s Aviva Community Fund and they very much welcome applications from community groups in Bassetlaw.

The Aviva Community Fund awards funding of up to £25,000 for local community projects across a range of categories such as supporting the elderly, health & wellbeing and community sport.

I hope that community groups in Bassetlaw will consider applying for funding and you have until October 11 to do so.

Please do go to http://www.aviva.co.uk/community-fund where you can also find more information about the fund and the winners will be announced in January.