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A bigger picture is needed on the BBC

The BBC is under fire again and the noises from the government make me wonder how long it will exist as a publicly funded broadcaster.

What an own goal it would be if we destroyed one of the great British institutions, which (imperfect though it is) is held in high esteem around the world and is part of the fabric of British society.

Funding is obviously at the heart of it and a TV licensing fee does seem anachronistic in a world of 4G mobile phones. We’ve yet to come up with a better model however and it’s important that people understand why it’s excellent value for money.

Comparisons with Netflix’s subscription model are disingenuous. Netflix has no public service mandate and is only responsible to it’s American shareholders - you won’t find it reporting on pot holes or court cases in your local area.

Consider local TV coverage, radio and the excellent range of factual and entertainment programmes (the vast majority of which are entirely British creations) and it’s hard not to conclude that the BBC does a huge amount of public good.

Those who claim to never use its services and resent paying the license fee need to look at a bigger picture, just as those without children help fund schools, benefitting wider society.

If Brexit is about independence, it would be a tragic irony if we now willingly wreck one of the few parts of our media not owned by a global corporation or billionaire media mogul.

Neil Mercer, Maidstone Road, Old Town

BBC should be commercialised

The fat cats at the BBC have announced that there will be a hike of £3 going onto the licence fee that’s another £3 the over 75s alongside those under 75 will need to find on top of the current £153.50. Apparently Boris is looking at decriminalising the charge for non payment but you will still be fined.

Over the past year there was some121,000 fines of approximately £176 for non-payment but only five were jailed. This licence fee is a total crime in itself, in this day and age when the younger people of the UK are watching Netflix, box sets, downloading films,

The only time the BBC get a surge of viewers is for 30 minutes in the evening when Eastenders comes on and if you believe the storylines on that heap of dung the general plot is you will have committed a crime been slapped in jail had a crown court trial done your time won a few million on the lotto come out of jail bought half of the East End and you now rule the manor all in the space of three weeks.

If that’s all the BBC can come up with perhaps every single licence fee payer in the country should stop paying and this gravy train will stop.

£3.7billion of the £4.9billion annual budget is generated via the licence fee.

If the BBC can raise funds via other means other than the licence fee to the tune of £1.2billion they should be made to raise their whole budget, not just laugh at the UK and let the cash keep rolling in.

If the BBC was made to be self-financed there would be a awful lot of luvvies at the job centre and will it survive?

Well if it’s as good as they say it is then yes it will but it needs to commercialise earn its own keep and stop the cash from flowing out of our pockets into the BBC’s never-filling coffers.

John L Crook, Haydon Wick, Swindon

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