by Ayden Fabien Férdeline
The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday questioned the BBC Trust over how well it is representing the interests of license-fee payers. The Trust was established in 2007 to provide oversight over the public broadcaster and is mandated to perform this role in the public interest.
John Leech, Liberal Democrat MP for South Manchester, asked how well the general public believes the BBC Trust represents their views. Trustee David Liddiment said, “I wouldn’t think that there were that many people who know what the BBC Trust is. We’re eight years old. It takes time to get into the public consciousness.”Liddiment later said that the public’s perception of the BBC Trust is not positive and “it is clear there was a fault line in the way that the Trust was set up that I think we only properly came to grips with quite recently.”
Paul Farrelly, the Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, said the Trust is perceived as “not fit for purpose” and asked what kind of entity would be best to oversee the BBC moving forward. Liddiment replied that “there should be an entity that protects the public value in the BBC”and ensures the organisation is fulfilling its charter, but feels the Trust in its current capacity is doing “very good work …to keep the cost of the BBC under control”.