BBC: Value to the UK and wider global audiences

This briefing has been prepared in advance of a House of Lords debate on 2 December 2021 on the value of the BBC to its audiences. The briefing provides information on the BBC’s remit, its services, and their economic value to the UK. It also summarises issues such as the negotiations between the BBC and the Government over the licence fee settlement from 2022, and the forthcoming mid-term review of the BBC’s royal charter.

BBC: Value to the UK and wider global audiences

Coroners (Determination of Suicide) Bill [HL]

This private member’s bill would enable a coroner to record gambling addiction as a relevant factor to a death by suicide. Currently, data on the correlation between problem gambling and deaths by suicide remains limited. Public Health England’s recent evidence review on gambling-related harms concluded that problem gambling should be deemed a public health issue. The bill will receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 19 November 2021.

Coroners (Determination of Suicide) Bill [HL]

Harnessing public engagement in the Olympics and Paralympics

At the 2020 Olympic Games, held in Tokyo in 2021, the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team won a total of 65 medals, including 22 gold medals. ParalympicsGB won 124 medals at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, including 41 gold medals. However, recent figures indicate levels of physical activity in England have declined over the past year. This briefing summarises recent figures for levels of physical activity and the UK Government’s policies concerning encouraging sport in England.

Harnessing public engagement in the Olympics and Paralympics
  • In Focus

    Impact of government policy on the creative sector

    The creative sector has been largely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In response, the Government introduced several measures, including the ‘culture recovery fund’. This article examines those measures, in addition to discussing the contribution of the sector to the economy and the impact of the pandemic on the sector.

  • In Focus

    Black History Month: racism in football

    Racist abuse continues to blight English football. The three England players who missed a penalty in the UEFA Euro 2020 final were subject to online racist abuse from supporters after the match. To mark Black History Month 2021, this article looks at the personal experiences of some former players who experienced racist discrimination. It also examines the history of legislation around tackling racism in football and takes a brief look at what social media companies are doing to tackle online abuse.

  • In Focus

    Public Health England: Gambling-related harms review

    The Government has estimated that there are 400,000 ‘problem gamblers’ in England, with a further 2 million people at risk of developing a problem. In its recent report, Public Health England has called for gambling-related harm to be considered as a public health issue. The Government is undertaking a review of the Gambling Act 2005 and has invested in services for those affected by this issue in the NHS Long Term Plan.

  • In Focus

    Educational and cultural exchange programmes

    Educational and cultural exchange programmes have existed for many years. They provide individuals, such as students, with the opportunity to learn and experience cultures outside of their home country. This article discusses exchange programmes such as the Government’s new Turing Scheme and the impact that programmes can have on participants.

  • In Focus

    Promoting tourism in the UK

    The UK’s tourism industry has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Ahead of a House of Lords debate on 24 June 2021 to take note of the need to promote tourism in the UK, this article looks at how the sector has been affected, and the Government’s response, including its recently published Tourism Recovery Plan.

  • In Focus

    Motions on recent changes to planning rules

    The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021 introduces several changes to the local planning framework. It makes it easier to convert a wider range of commercial buildings to residential use; allows further development of schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons and ports; and implements a ‘retain and explain’ policy for certain statues, memorials and monuments. The House of Lords is set to debate motions to reject or ‘regret’ the changes.

  • In Focus

    Public service broadcasting: Communications and Digital Committee report

    The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee published its report on the future of public service broadcasting (PSB) in November 2019. The committee concluded that PSB was important to UK media, but made a range of recommendations in light of increased competition from streaming services. Recently, Ofcom has completed a five-year review into PSB. The Government has also launched its own strategic review into PSB.

  • In Focus

    Audiovisual Media Services (Amendment) Regulations 2021

    The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2020 transposed a revised EU directive into UK law. The current amendment regulations would make some changes to the earlier set, most notably to amend the duties placed on Ofcom, the regulator. The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has raised some concerns about the UK’s ability to tackle online harm now that the UK has left the EU.

  • In Focus

    British Library Board (Power to Borrow) Bill

    The British Library Board (Power to Borrow) Bill would grant the British Library board new powers to borrow money. This private member’s bill, introduced in the House of Commons, has received cross-party support. Having completed its initial stages in the Commons on 12 March 2021, it is scheduled to be debated at second reading in the House of Lords on 19 March 2021. This article summarises the bill’s provisions and its passage through the Commons.

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