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Aled Roberts welcomes support for provision of Welsh language

January 26, 2012 2:18 PM

Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales, has welcomed today's commitment from the Heritage Minister, Huw Lewis, that he will support calls to improve the provision of Welsh language and Wales-related television programming in North Wales. Currently, many areas of North Wales cannot receive Welsh programming through BBC Wales, ITV Wales and S4C. The situation has been exacerbated as a result of transmitter changes in England after Wales' digital switchover.

Commenting, Aled Roberts said:

"This has been a major problem in North Wales - and especially in the north-east of the region - for far too long. Local and national news programmes, current affairs, sport and Welsh-language programmes should all be readily available in all parts of Wales.

"It is ludicrous that people living in Wales are often unable to watch Welsh sport or find out about Welsh news, and the only advice they are receiving is to purchase satellite equipment. These problems have occurred through no fault of their own and need to be addressed.

"Visitors to North Wales, including those from other parts of Wales, must find it quite curious that they are confined to watching programmes aimed at the north - west of England and the Midlands.

"Broadcasting is not devolved to Wales, but there are numerous reasons why, in the long-term at least, that should change.

"In the Siambr today the Minister agreed to engage with the UK Government on broadcasting in Wales. He also asked me to write to him with more details about the problems people encounter and I will be happy to do so.

"It is unacceptable that there are areas of North Wales where people are unable to receive local and Welsh programming."