The future of local TV services is up for discussion

TELEVISION viewers in the Borders are being urged to speak up about where they want their local television service to come from.

Ofcom, the UK Government’s broadcasting regulator have put forward various options to Westminster for delivery of local services when the current licences run out in 2014 and one option is to have just three companies, with the Borders region coming under STV control.

Scottish Borders Council Convener, Alasdair Hutton, who is also chairman of the South of Scotland Alliance’s local television group, wants viewers to respond to the government consultation by September 23.

“It will be important for Jeremy Hunt (Culture Secretary) to know that people in the Borders have never been properly served with local news and information and his proposal is a good chance for him to create a good mix of close-knit city areas and far-flung rural areas,” he said.

“I urge everyone who feels that they would like to see a local television service in the Borders to respond to the Minister and let him know how keen we are to see this become a reality in the Borders.”

Local politicians have so far opted for either going back to how things were before Border TV news was merged with Tyne Tees, or in the case of SNP MSP Christine Grahame, supporting the Borders being served by STV.

The South of Scotland Alliance will be sending a response to the minister’s consultation and Councillor Hutton will be putting the Borders case directly to the minister when they meet in the near future.

Readers wishing to log their views should send an email to local.tv@culture.gsi.gov.uk or write to the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5DH.