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BBC Fiona Hyslop

Scots culture secretary Hyslop describes talks with BBC Scotland boss over budget cuts as 'extremely useful'

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By Stephen Lepitak, -

October 11, 2011 | 2 min read

A meeting with BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie over budget cuts being implemented by the corporation, has been described as ‘extremely useful’ by Fiona Hyslop, culture secretary for Scotland.

Hyslop met with MacQuarrie to talk about the potential 120 jobs being lost at the corporsation in coming years, as part of the BBC’s plans to shell a fifth of its annual budget due to the long-term freeze on the licence fee.

BBC Scotland will lose 16% of its annual budget.

Hyslop said: "This was an extremely useful and informative discussion about how the BBC is dealing with the difficult decisions it is being forced to make by the licence fee settlement imposed by the UK Government.

"In response to my deep concerns about the effect these cuts will have on quality of output in Scotland - particularly in relation to news - Ken MacQuarrie reiterated the BBC's continuing commitment to maintaining the quality, range and depth of services on television, radio and online.

"In relation to job cuts, which are very worrying, I have urged the BBC to ensure it engages constructively with the relevant unions.

"Good progress has been made increasing levels of network production in Scotland and I have sought assurances that the BBC intends to maintain this momentum.

"We look forward to continuing discussions with the BBC on these matters in future.

"These BBC cuts are a result of the UK Government's licence fee negotiations, which took place behind closed doors over a 48 hour period. It is why the Scottish Government is calling for improvements in the Scotland Bill so that we are involved in future licence fee setting arrangements."

BBC Fiona Hyslop

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