MSP claims Borderers are being let down by UK TV plans


People in the Borders are not being considered by the UK Government, SNP MSP Christine Grahame will say in a member’s debate on TV reception tonight.

The Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP is leading the discussion in Parliament on the omission of the Scottish Borders from the list of locations eligible to bid for a local broadcasting licence.

Ms Grahame says her constituency and surrounding region suffer from a deficit in national and local commercial TV coverage as people living here are unable to receive STV.  The debate comes on the back of a Parliamentary Motion submitted by Ms Grahame last month entitled ‘Jeremy Hunt Doesn’t Get the Picture so Neither Does the Borders’.

Ms Grahame will say: “Local TV services have the potential to bring benefits to viewers in my constituency. However, the UK Government’s plans fall far short of the mark.”

“I have real concerns about Jeremy Hunt’s proposals which would leave gaping holes in provision, particularly in rural areas. My constituency is arguably one of the parts of Scotland most in need of local television.”

Ms Grahame will also compliment the South of Scotland Alliance which is currently pursuing the case for local TV in the region.

She will say: “In the meantime, and in parallel, I have been impressed by the operation of URTV in Helensburgh – you can watch on-line – which would be a foot in the local TV door.”

“I am enthused by this prospect and I hope the Minister will be equally enthused not only by pressing the case with Jeremy Hunt but additionally examining the Helensburgh example and perhaps commissioning a pilot in, say, Peebles.”