I welcome the recent publication of the draft BBC Royal Charter and Framework Agreement by the Secretary of State for Culture, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP.

Since the publication of the White Paper, the Government has resolved a number of important areas with the BBC, which go further in the key areas of transparency, fairness and securing the BBC's independence. The new Charter will put in place the right supporting framework to strengthen the BBC so that it continues to thrive in a fast-changing media landscape and goes on delivering the best possible service for licence fee payers.  

The Charter will overhaul how the BBC is governed, making it more accountable to the licence fee payer and strengthening its independence. It will also focus on high quality, distinctive content that serves all communities who make up our common national identity. This will be at the heart of the BBC's overall core mission of informing, educating and entertaining.   The core principle of impartiality will be embedded in the BBC's overall mission, and its role in supporting the wider creative industries will be expanded.

A new small contestable public service content fund will allow other broadcasters and producers to make more public service content in areas that are currently underserved such as programmes for children and for black and minority ethnic audiences and, for the first time, diversity will be enshrined in the new Charter's public purposes.  

The BBC receives £3.7 billion from the licence fee and it is essential that this is spent wisely. To help ensure this, the National Audit Office will become the BBC's financial auditor and fully scrutinise the BBC's value for money record. The BBC Board will also be required to ensure that the BBC is transparent and efficient in its spending with those enjoying remuneration packages greater than £150,000 being identified in broad bands. 

I have recently received a letter from the Secretary of State which outlines the key points and you may like to read it here.