Channel 4 privatisation plan the wrong move - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Martin Hemingway, Foxhill Court, Leeds.

The recent discussion of falls in bus provision in the region such as the report by Alex Grant (‘Region has lost a third of its bus services’, The Yorkshire Post, April 6) do not include one significant aspect that is also relevant to the proposed transfer of Channel 4 from the public to a few mates of the Government.

Before privatisation we had bus and rail services, a service being something there for the public, for the community.

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What was privatised after various carve-ups were ‘bus companies’ and ‘rail companies’. What the bus (and rail) companies had were bus (and rail) services, which might only make money with public subsidy, and land – sometimes high value city centre land.

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I may be cynical, but I have always been of the view that the target of the buyers of these companies was not the provision of public services, but the money to be made from dealing in land.

Taking these companies back into public ownership is important for the provision of transport services, but they have already been stripped of the assets provided from the public purse.

Separation of public institutions such as the old polytechnics, the colleges, and now schools involves the transfer of land assets.

Channel 4 is a public asset, it has no cost to the public purse, and again its transfer to private owners who will not have any responsibility to the community, but who can make money for themselves is being proposed.

I am grateful that some of our Conservative MPs are arguing for the value of Channel 4 to the region, and that can only be maintained by keeping Channel 4 in the public sector.

Previous privatisations make this message clear.

From: Anthony Walsh, Leeds.

Channel 4 acts as a catalyst for TV and film production in Yorkshire among other places. The news being broadcast from Leeds will put us on the map. That will likely end if it is privatised.

It costs the taxpayer nothing but creates opportunities for regions outside London.