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Gaelic Broadcasting Committee won't be scrapped

Minister clarifies changes

The Minister of Policy and Reform says the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee is not being scrapped, despite a government report suggesting it could be abolished.

A Cabinet Office review of quangos - Quasi-autonomous non-Governmental Organisations - will be laid before Tynwald this month.

It makes a series of recommendations, one of which is that five organisations be abolished, one of which was the committee.

However in a statement to Manx Radio, minister Chris Thomas - who is also chair of Culture Vannin - says the Communications Commission asked for the committee's budget to be covered by Culture Vannin.

The intention is that its functions will be transferred to the charity once the new Communications Bill was made law.

In effect, the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee has therefore become a sub-committee of Culture Vannin, despite its separate legal status.

The full statement reads:

"About three years ago, as part of a review process, the Communications Commission asked for the budget for the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee to be covered by Culture Vannin, with the intention of transferring the functions of the GBC to Culture Vannin fully once the proposed Communications Bill was enacted."

"So for a number of years now the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee has de facto been a sub-committee of Culture Vannin, despite its separate legal status."

"The annual report of the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee forms part of the annual reporting to Tynwald by Culture Vannin."

"When the new Communications Bill 2018 becomes law Culture Vannin will assume a degree of responsibility for this matter."

"Specifically: Section 59 Gaelic broadcasting - (1) The licence of the public service broadcaster must include a condition requiring the public service broadcaster to include in the service such proportion of programmes in Manx Gaelic as may be specified in or determined in accordance with the licence. (2) In determining the proportion of programmes in Manx Gaelic to be specified in the licence or to be determined in accordance with the licence, the Commission must consult the Manx Heritage Foundation and the public service broadcaster. Note: Manx Heritage Foundation trades as Culture Vannin. (3) In this section 'programmes in Manx Gaelic' includes programmes in English for promoting Manx Gaelic."

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