Amendments proposed to the Communications Bill - continued House of Commons

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Grants to community media

   

Brian White

NC35

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1)   OFCOM shall make such payments as they consider appropriate to the credit of a fund established under this section, to be known as the Community Media Fund.

    (2)   The Fund shall be under the management of a body established for the purposes of this section, which shall be called the Community Media Foundation.

    (3)   The Community Media Foundation shall consist of—

      (a) a chairman appointed by OFCOM, and

      (b) such number of other members appointed by OFCOM, not being less than four nor more than eight, as they may from time to time determine.

    (4)   The Fund may be applied by the Foundation in the making of grants for—

      (a) the establishment and development of community media,

      (b) the making of programmes to be carried by community media,

      (c) the training of persons connected with community media,

      (d) the provision of support services to community media,

      (e) other related purposes.

    (5)   When making any grant out of the Fund in pursuance of subsection (4) the Foundation may impose such conditions as they think fit, including conditions requiring the grant to be repaid in certain circumstances.

    (6)   The Foundation shall perform their functions under this section with respect to the making of grants out of the Fund in such manner as they consider will secure a range and diversity of community media throughout the United Kingdom taking account of the greater need of areas and localities which are economically disadvantaged.

    (7)   OFCOM shall so exercise their power under subsection (3) to appoint the members of the Foundation as to secure that a majority of the members are persons who appear to them to represent a broad range of knowledge and experience of community media.

    (8)   Any sums required by OFCOM under subsection (1) may be paid out of money received in respect of wireless telegraphy licences, broadcast licences, administrative charges for electronic communications networks and services, and any other charges including financial penalties imposed on licensees.

    (9)   In this section "community media" means communications services provided primarily for the benefit of members of the public in a defined geographical locality or in a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes.

    (10)   In subsection (9) "communications services" includes—

      (a) radio and television broadcasting;

      (b) electronic communications networks and services; and

      (c) content services carried by services falling within paragraphs (a) or (b).'.


Community radio (No. 2)

   

Brian White

NC36

To move the following Clause:—

    '—(1)   In subsection (2) of section 84 of the 1990 Act after paragraph (a)(iii) there shall be inserted—

           "or—

          (iv) for the benefit of members of the public in a defined geographical locality or of a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes (a "community service")".

    (2)   In subsection (6) of section 104 of the 1990 Act in paragraph (b) after "satellite" there shall be inserted ", community".

    (3)   After that subsection there shall be inserted—

          "(6A)   In determining whether or to whom to grant a licence to provide a community service and the duration of such licence OFCOM shall have regard to the extent to which—

          (a) the service would confer significant benefits on the public or on the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

          (b) the proposed service demonstrates evidence of support by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

          (c) the proposed service includes provision for public access to training, production and broadcast facilities;

          (d) the proposed service includes measures to ensure accountability to and participation by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided; and

          (e) the proposed service would be distinctive from local sound broadcasting services licensed to cover over 50 per cent. of the proposed service's coverage area.".'.


Disputes arising under conditions imposed under section 71

   

Brian White

NC37

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   This section applies where—

      (a) a dispute has arisen between the provider of a conditional access system and the provider of a protected programme service;

      (b) the dispute concerns the price at which any service capable of being made available by means of the conditional access system is to be provided and is a dispute which relates to the subject matter of a condition set under section 71(2); and

      (c) OFCOM have decided under section 181(2) that it is appropriate for them to handle the dispute.

    (2)   In carrying out their duties under section 183(2), OFCOM shall have regard to the following matters, in addition to any other matters which they consider it is appropriate for them to have regard in making a determination for resolving the dispute—

      (a) any extent to which the protected programme service contributes to the purposes of public service broadcasting;

      (b) the public benefit to be secured by ensuring that as many members of the public in the United Kingdom as possible have access to the protected programme service; and

      (c) any benefit to the provider of the conditional access system or any other body to whom a service by means of the conditional access sytem is provided or is to be provided of making available the service requested other than a benefit which relates solely to the ability of that provider to charge a price for the provision of the service.

    (3)   In this section "conditional access system" and "protected programme service" have the same meaning as in section 71.'.


Local content of local sound broadcasting services

   

Brian White

NC41

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM to secure that appropriate local content is included in the programmes broadcast by local sound broadcasting services.

    (2)   In carrying out its duty in subsection (1), OFCOM shall—

      (a) take all local sound broadcasting services receivable in any area together as a whole; and

      (b) take into account the results of research carried out under subsection (7)(a); and

      (c) take into account the extent to which the expectations of listeners for local content (under subsection (7)(a)) are being met by other services receivable within the area; and

      (d) take into account the degree to which any action taken by OFCOM pursuant to this section may affect competition between local sound broadcasting services and any other class of service.

    (3)   OFCOM must draw up or agree a code giving guidance as to how the requirements of subsection (1) should be satisfied and, in doing so, shall have particular regard to the desirability referred to in section 3(3)(c) of promoting and facilitating the development and use of effective forms of self-regulation.

    (4)   The code may, in particular include guidance as to the relevance of different descriptions of local content included in local sound broadcasting services.

    (5)   From time to time, OFCOM may revise the code or direct that it should be revised.

    (6)   The code and every revision of the code should be published in such manner as OFCOM considers appropriate.

    (7)   Before drawing up or revising the code, OFCOM must—

      (a) conduct research into listeners' expectations of local sound broadcasting services and other services receivable within any area concerned, including the extent to which they expect local content to be broadcast; and

      (b) consult with persons holding licences to provide local sound broadcasting services or persons appearing to represent such persons, or both.

    (8)   In this section, "local content", in relation to a local sound broadcasting service, means content (including news or information) which is of particular interest—

      (a) to persons living or working within the area or locality for which the service is provided; or

      (b) to persons living or working within a part of that area or locality; or

      (c) to particular communities living or working within that area or locality.

    (9)   References in this section to persons living or working in an area or locality include references to persons undergoing education or training in that area or locality.

    (10)   A code drawn up as a result of subsection (3) shall not have the effect of varying an existing sound broadcasting licence.'.


Test for setting or modifying conditions or directions

   

Mr Andrew Lansley

NC42

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   When exercising any of their Broadcasting Act powers for a competition purpose as defined in section 305, OFCOM must not—

      (a) set a condition or issue a direction; or

      (b) modify such a condition or direction,

       unless they are satisfied that the condition or direction or (as the case may be) the modification satisfies the test in subsection (2).

    (2)   That test is that the condition, direction or modification is—

      (a) objectively justifiable in relation to the services to which it relates;

      (b) not such as to discriminate unduly against particular persons or against a particular description of persons;

      (c) proportionate to what it is intended to achieve; and

      (d) in relation to what it is intended to achieve, transparent.'.


Procedure for setting, modifying and revoking conditions or directions

   

Mr Andrew Lansley

NC43

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   In relation to Part 3 of this Act—

      (a) the way in which conditions or directions are to be set or modified when OFCOM are exercising any of their Broadcasting Act powers for a competition purpose is by the publication of a notification setting out the conditions, directions or modifications; and

      (b) the way in which such a condition or direction is to be revoked is by the publication of a notification stating that the condition or direction is revoked.

    (2)   Before setting conditions or directions, or modifying or revoking a condition or direction so set when OFCOM are exercising any of their Broadcasting Act powers OFCOM must publish a notification—

      (a) stating that they are proposing to set, modify or revoke the conditions or directions that are specified in the notification;

      (b) setting out the effect of those conditions, directions, modifications or revocations;

      (c) giving their reasons for making the proposal; and

      (d) specifying the period within which representations may be made to OFCOM about their proposal.

    (3)   That period must end no less than one month after the day of publication of the notification.

    (4)   OFCOM may give effect, with or without modifications, to a proposal with respect to which they have published a notification under subsection (2) only if they have considered every representation about the proposal that is made to them within the period specified in the notification.

    (5)   The publication of a notification under this section must be in such manner as appears to OFCOM to be appropriate for bringing the contents of the notification to the attention of such persons as OFCOM consider appropriate.'.



 
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