The Government has announced the appointment of eight new members of the BBC Trust, the corporation's regulatory body that will replace the governors from January 1, 2007. Under the corporation's new charter the Trust has to approve new or substantially changed services after conducting a public value test (PVT). The first PVT has been launched into the BBC's proposed on-demand video services, including the iPlayer.
The eight new members of the Trust are:
- Chitra Bharucha, who chairs General Medical Council panels that decide on the fitness of doctors to practise medicine, is appointed vice-chairman of the BBC Trust.
- Diane Coyle, an economist, member of the Competition Commission and former economics editor of The Independent.
- Alison Hastings, a former regional newspaper editor, becomes BBC Trustee for England.
- Dame Patricia Hodgson, the former CEO of the Independent Television Commission, one of five regulators folded into Ofcom.
- Rotha Johnston, an independent businesswoman and the Trustee for Northern Ireland.
- Janet Lewis-Jones, vice president of the British Board of Film Classification, is the Trustee for Wales.
- David Liddiment, former Director of Programmes at ITV.
- Mehmuda Mian Pritchard, a solicitor and Independent Police Complaints Commissioner.
Michael Grade, chairman-designate of the BBC Trust, said: "One of our first tasks as Trustees will be to consult the public about the priorities we should set BBC management to meet the 'six public purposes' laid out in the new charter. This will include the first of the Trust's regular major audience research surveys, asking the public how the BBC is performing, plus an early meeting of the new Audience Councils from around the UK. For the first time, the public will help set the strategic agenda for its BBC."
The eight new trustees join four already appointed: Grade (a former Channel 4 CEO and currently also chairman of Pinewood Shepperton); Dermot Gleeson (chairman of construction group MJ Gleeson), Jeremy Peat (the Trustee for Scotland, and a former chief economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland) and Richard Tait (former editor-in-chief at ITN).
Commenting on his appointment Liddiment said: "I have long argued for greater independence in the governance of the BBC and am delighted to have the opportunity as a founding member of the new Trust to help put that into practice. I believe that my extensive experience in public service broadcasting will be valuable in ensuring the BBC meets the public's high expectations of quality services delivered efficiently in return for their licence fee."
Lovelace Consulting | 13.10.2006