WGGB deplores surprise BBC cuts

WGGB deplores the latest cuts announced by the BBC and the impact they could have on writers’ livelihoods.

There has been a double-whammy this week with the announcement that BBC Three is to move online and that the long-established Welsh soap Pobol y Cwm is to suffer a big reduction in the number of episodes commissioned and the scrapping of the weekly omnibus edition.

All these developments could have a devastating effect on writers’ earnings.

WGGB negotiators and committee members will be in key meetings with the BBC in London and Cardiff over the next few days to establish the facts about the cuts and to discuss the impact on writers.

WGGB General Secretary Bernie Corbett said: “This is the fallout from the terrible deal former BBC Director General Mark Thompson made with the incoming Coalition Government in 2010, to freeze Licence Fees for six years. Of course he is now an ocean away and doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of his crazy secret pact with the Coalition.

“We welcome the new D-G’s statement that he will abandon ‘salami-slicing’ cuts that only deliver equality of misery on all parts of the BBC. Instead, bold and difficult cuts will be made. But the end of BBC Three is a shock to the system. We will be meeting BBC executives over the next few days and weeks, and we will try to ensure that the pledge to reinvest £30 million of savings in BBC One and BBC Two drama actually comes about.”

WGGB negotiators will be meeting BBC Wales in the next few days to discuss the implications of the drastic cuts to Pobol y Cwm.