|Carwyn Jones AC|
|David Melding AC|
|Helen Mary Jones AC|
|John Griffiths AC|
|Mick Antoniw AC|
|Aled Powell||Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg|
|Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg|
|Colin Nosworthy||Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg|
|Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg|
|Heledd Gwyndaf||Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg|
|Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg|
|Huw Jones||Cyn-Gadeirydd Awdurdod a Bwrdd S4C|
|Former Chair of the S4C Board and Authority|
|Justin Lewis||Prifysgol Caerdydd|
|Martin Mumford||Nation Broadcasting|
|Angharad Roche||Dirprwy Glerc|
|1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiant||1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest|
|2. Ymchwiliad i ddatganoli darlledu||2. Inquiry into the devolution of broadcasting|
|3. Ymchwiliad i ddatganoli darlledu||3. Inquiry into the devolution of broadcasting|
|4. Ymchwiliad i ddatganoli darlledu||4. Inquiry into the devolution of broadcasting|
|5. Papurau i'w nodi||5. Papers to note|
|6. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod||6. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:29.
The meeting began at 09:29.
Bore da, gyfeillion, a chroeso cynnes i bawb i gyfarfod y pwyllgor. Dwi'n siŵr y byddwch chi i gyd yn hoffi i fi ddechrau trwy ddymuno'r gorau i Bethan, ein Cadeirydd arferol. Bydd e jest yn neis i gofnodi ein bod ni'n dymuno pob lwc iddi gyda'r babi newydd. Fe wnaf i drio fy ngorau i gadw rhyw fath o drefn ar y pwyllgor yn ei habsenoldeb. Rwyf hefyd eisiau diolch i fy nghyd-Aelodau am fy ethol i fel eich Cadeirydd dros dro.
Jest i ddweud rhai pethau housekeeping. Dŷn ni ddim yn disgwyl ymarfer tân, felly os dŷn ni'n clywed larwm tân, mae hynny'n golygu bod yna broblem a dylem ni ddilyn cyfarwyddiadau'r tywyswyr. Jest i atgoffa pawb i droi pob ffôn symudol neu unrhyw beth arall naill ai i ffwrdd neu ar dawel, ac i atgoffa yn enwedig y tystion bod croeso cynnes ichi ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg neu Saesneg a bod dim angen ichi gyffwrdd â'r microphones o gwbl, bydd hynny'n cael ei wneud drosoch chi yn awtomatig. Dŷn ni ddim wedi derbyn unrhyw ymddiheuriadau, felly jest cyn inni fynd i mewn i'r broses dystiolaeth, allaf i ofyn os oes yna ddatganiadau o fudd gan fy nghyd-Aelodau? Nac oes.
Good morning, friends, colleagues, and welcome, everyone, to this meeting of the committee. I'm sure that you would all wish me to begin by wishing Bethan, our usual Chair, all the best. It would just be good to put on record that we wish her all the best with the new baby. I'll try to keep you all in order in her absence. I also want to thank my fellow Members for electing me as your temporary Chair.
Just to say a few housekeeping rules. We don't expect a fire drill this morning, so if we do hear the fire bell, then that means there is a problem and we need to follow the directions of the ushers. Just to remind everyone to turn every mobile phone or any other devices off or on to silent, and to remind witnesses that you are welcome to use English or Welsh in your contributions and that you don't need to touch the buttons on the microphones at all—that will all be done for you automatically. We haven't received any apologies this morning, so just before we go into our evidence session, may I ask if there are any declarations of interest from my fellow Members? No.
Cawn ni symud yn syth i mewn i'n sesiwn cyntaf o dystiolaeth ar edrych i mewn i ddatganoli— beth ydy'r gair—darlledu? Roeddwn i wedi anghofio'r gair Cymraeg am 'broadcasting'—not a good start. Croesawaf Huw Jones a Martin Mumford. Diolch yn fawr iawn ichi. Awn ni'n syth i mewn i ofyn cwestiynau os yw hynny'n iawn gyda chi, a gwnaf i ddechrau. So, i ddechrau, caf i ofyn ydy'r ddarpariaeth newyddion a materion cyfoes i gynulleidfaoedd yng Nghymru yn ddigonol, ac os nad ydy, sut fyddech chi'n licio ei gweld hi'n cael ei gwella? Un neu'r llall ohonoch chi—
Then we'll go straight to our first evidence session this morning, and our inquiry into the devolution of broadcasting. I'd forgotten what the Welsh word was for 'broadcasting'—not a good start. I'd just like to welcome Huw Jones and Martin Mumford. Thank you very much for joining us this morning. We'll go straight into questions, if that's okay with you, and I'll start. I'll just ask you initially whether the provision of news and current affairs for Welsh audiences is adequate, and if not, how would you like to see it being improved? Either of you is welcome to answer.
Efallai y dylwn i jest bwysleisio i ddechrau, er fy mod i wedi arfer bod yma yn gwisgo het benodol o fod yn gadeirydd, dwi nawr wedi ymddeol, felly mae unrhyw sylwadau sydd gennyf fi yn naturiol yn cael eu dweud fel unigolion preifat.
I should just first of all emphasise that although I'm used to being here wearing a very specific hat of being chair, I am now retired, so any comments I make are made as a private individual.
Diolch yn fawr. Dylwn i fod wedi egluro hyn cyn gofyn ichi siarad, sori.
Thank you very much. I should have explained that before asking you to respond. Sorry.
Felly, fel dinesydd, byddwn i'n dweud, fwy na thebyg nad yw'r ddarpariaeth newyddion yn ddigonol oherwydd, yn fwy na dim, fod cymaint o dderbyn newyddion am Gymru yn digwydd trwy gyfryngau sydd ddim yn canolbwyntio ar Gymru yn unig. Felly, mae rhywun yn dibynnu ar barodrwydd y cyfryngau hynny, y gwasanaethau newyddion ar deledu ac ar radio sydd yn dod o'r tu allan i Gymru i roi adlewyrchiad boddhaol o Gymru ar y cyfryngau hynny. Felly, o ran dadansoddiad o faint o newyddion am Gymru mae pobl Cymru yn ei dderbyn, mae'n rhaid dweud nad yw'n ddigonol, ond heb fynd i gynnig beth yw'r atebion i hynny, dyna'r ateb ffeithiol byddwn i'n ei roi.
Therefore, as a citizen, I would say that, in all likelihood, the news and current affairs provision is not adequate, because so much news about Wales is received through media that aren't entirely focused on Wales. Therefore, one is reliant on the willingness of those media services, news services on television and radio, that are provided from outwith Wales to reflect Wales on those media services. So, in terms of an analysis of how much news about Wales the people of Wales receive, you'd have to say that it's inadequate. But, without trying to provide solutions to that, that's the factual response I would give.
I think in terms of commercial radio, it's very clear to us that, in the future of regulation—and we're moving towards more and more deregulation—news is becoming more important. Within our own organisation, Nation Broadcasting, we saw a very specific problem, because our news provider is Sky News and sets a UK agenda. So, probably four years ago now, we took a decision not to broadcast Sky News, that UK-wide bulletin, and to create our own news for Wales, something we put a great deal of resource into at the time. So, even with those radio stations in Wales like, say, Heart or Capital, which are stations I'm not responsible for, I should say, where you're getting programming that might be provided at a UK level, news, in fact, has been resourced up across that period. I think it's probably sensible I limit my answers to commercial radio, because that's the area in which I operate. I've got other views as a citizen.
But the difficulty within radio as a whole, and something I know that the committee has addressed previously, is that audience research shows that national radio brands are growing, often at the expense, sadly, of local radio stations, and there isn't a level playing field. If you're not able to get a Welsh perspective on, let's say, Radio 2, and I know that's something you've looked at previously, then you end up in a position where, potentially, the highest level of regulation falls on the smallest providers. But perhaps those big UK broadcasters—certainly, they are broadcasting a UK agenda, rather than a Wales agenda, or even a local agenda, and that's potentially problematic and likely to become more problematic, because that's where audiences are migrating.
Thank you. That's helpful, and, in a sense, talking about where audiences are going brings me to my next question, which is: to what extent has the growth in consumer choice for video and audio content led to a growth in content specifically for Welsh audiences, or has it gone the other way?
For us, that's our point of difference. We're the exact opposite of almost every other radio company in the UK—we run our UK operation from Wales rather than from London. So we see that as our point of difference, that we're able to be broadcasting from locations in Wales, talking about Wales all the time.
I think news has certainly become softer in commercial radio as time has gone on, in line with audience research. But actually, there are things that we do that are newsworthy in our output that aren't in a segment at the top of the hour that we call 'news'—that ability to connect people around local issues is something that we can do right the way through our programming. So, when there's a massive flood event, we can deliver crucial information; we can increase the amount of travel news and other news elements that we provide. But yes, that's our point of difference currently—that we are able to concentrate on specific local content.
Mae dyfodiad llwyfannau newydd, wrth gwrs, wedi creu cyfleoedd newydd i gyrraedd pobl mewn ardaloedd ehangach, ac mae'r ffaith bod S4C ar gael ar draws Prydain yn fanteisiol, wrth reswm. Mae llwyfannau digidol newydd yn galluogi pobl i wylio rhaglenni y mae S4C wedi comisiynu a darlledu, pryd bynnag maen nhw eisiau. Mae'r archif ar gael yn llawer ehangach, ac mae hwnna i gyd yn beth positif. Ond wrth gwrs, dyw'r arian sydd ar gael i greu deunydd newydd ddim wedi cynyddu, ac yn groes i beth sydd wedi digwydd yn yr iaith Saesneg, does yna ddim cynnydd mewn cynnyrch masnachol ar gyfer y Gymraeg, oherwydd cost teledu a chynnyrch clyweledol, yna dydy'r farchnad ddim yn darparu deunydd Cymraeg. Ac mae'n rhaid i rywun wedyn bryderu bod y gwasgu yma ar y cyllid sydd ar gael i gynhyrchu deunydd newydd yn Gymraeg yn digwydd ar yr un pryd ag y mae'r dewis sydd ar gael yn Saesneg, o bob ffynhonnell, wedi cynyddu yn aruthrol. Felly, mae'r dewis sydd gan y gwyliwr yn y cartref, ar y ffôn neu beth bynnag yn llawer iawn, iawn ehangach nac y mae wedi bod mewn blynyddoedd a fu, tra mae S4C, yn anochel, yn ceisio wynebu'r holl heriau yma a manteisio ar y cyfleoedd gyda chyllid sydd yn amlwg dan bwysau. Mae pob platfform newydd sydd yn cael ei gynnig i S4C yn golygu cost. Os ydych chi eisiau S4C fod ar ryw blatfform, rhyw un sy'n dechrau dod yn boblogaidd, dŷch chi ddim jest yn cael bod arno fo am ddim; mae'n rhaid i chi dalu, a does yna ddim arian penodol ychwanegol i'w gael ar gyfer hynny.
Felly, mae cymaint o'r drafodaeth yma, i fi, yn dod yn ôl at gyllid; sut mae sicrhau cyllid digonol i greu deunydd newydd, achos dyna ydy nodwedd y cyfryngau newydd—creu deunydd newydd drwy'r amser. A dyna yw disgwyliadau pobl—bod yna rywbeth newydd ar gael ar gyfer ystod eang iawn o gynulleidfa sydd eisiau pethau gwahanol.
The advent of new platforms, of course, has created new opportunities to reach people in wider areas. The fact that S4C is available across the UK is very beneficial, of course, and new digital platforms can enable people to watch programmes commissioned and broadcast by S4C whenever they want. There is an archive available, and that's very positive, but of course the funding available to create new content hasn't increased. Contrary to what has happened with regard to the English language, there hasn't been an increase in commercial product with regard to the Welsh language, because the cost of television and audiovisual content has increased, so the market doesn't provide Welsh-language content, and one then has to be concerned that this pressure on the funding available to produce new content in Welsh is happening at the same time as the choice available in the English language has increased exponentially. So, the choice available to the viewer at home, or on the telephone, is far wider than it has been in previous years, whilst S4C inevitably is trying to face up to these opportunities, as well as challenges, with funding that is itself under pressure, and every new platform that is proposed for S4C does mean a cost. If you want S4C to be on a platform that's becoming increasingly popular, you can't just be on it for free; you have to pay for access, and there isn't specific additional funding available for that.
So, much of this debate, for me, comes back to funding. How can we ensure sufficient funding to create new content? Because that's the characteristic of the new media—creating new content all of the time. That's what people expect, that there's something new available for a wide range of audiences who want different things.
Mae hynny'n fy arwain i yn hawdd, eto, at y cwestiwn nesaf. Dŷch chi'n sôn am gyllid, oes gyda chi syniadau ynglŷn â sut allwn ni, fel cymdeithas, sicrhau bod yna gyllid digonol? Oes yna bethau eraill y gellid eu gwneud er mwyn sicrhau bod yna ddigon o ddeunydd Cymraeg ei iaith, yn enwedig fideo, ond yn y maes radio hefyd?
That leads me neatly to my next question. You mentioned funding, do you have any ideas as to how we could ensure that there is adequate funding available, and are there other things that could be done to ensure that there's enough Welsh language content out there, particularly video, but also in radio?
Dwi wastad wedi bod yn bryderus, yn gwisgo het S4C, ynglŷn ag unrhyw un sy'n awgrymu bod yna ateb hawdd i gwestiynau cyllid. Dwi yn meddwl, yn y drafodaeth yma, ei bod hi'n fuddiol i bawb cadw llygad gofalus iawn ar beth yw'r deilliannau ariannol, achos mae unrhyw sôn am roi cyfrifoldeb am S4C i Lywodraeth Cymru, i mi, mae hynny'n golygu rhoi cyfrifoldeb am sicrhau cyllido S4C. Felly, mae angen bod yn hollol glir ynglŷn â beth mae hynny yn ei olygu.
Nawr, dwi'n meddwl bod yna ddiolch i Gymdeithas yr Iaith am roi nifer o syniadau manwl gerbron yn y ddogfen fwyaf diweddar. Dwi'n meddwl o ystyried hanes Cymdeithas yr Iaith yn sefydlu S4C, maen nhw'n haeddu gwrandawiad, yn sicr. Mae'r syniadau yna, mae rhai ohonyn nhw, i mi, yn ddiddorol, ond mae yna eraill sydd eisiau edrych arnyn nhw mewn cryn fanylder er mwyn gweld beth yw'r problemau ynglŷn â nhw. Ond, er enghraifft, mae Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig ar hyn o bryd yn mynd i gyflwyno cynlluniau i drethu transactions digidol. Felly, mae model Cymdeithas yr Iaith yn dweud, 'Wel, ie, gwnewch hynny, gwnewch o yn fwy a defnyddiwch yr arian yna'n benodol ar gyfer y cyfryngau.'
Nawr, gallwch chi weld ar unwaith y drafodaeth sy'n codi yn fanna. Mae America yn gwrthwynebu, felly mae hwn yn mynd i fod yn rhan o'r drafodaeth rhwng Prydain ac America ynglŷn â masnach. Mae Ffrainc wedi trio cyflwyno'r un math o fesur, ac mae Macron wedi gorfod camu nôl. Ond, mae'r pwnc yn un byw, sef bod y canfyddiad fod y cyfryngau masnachol yma, sydd â'r rhan fwyaf ohonyn nhw'n dod o America, yn manteisio ar economïau gwledydd yng ngweddill y byd heb dalu treth ddigonol yn gwestiwn hollol deg, ac mae rhywun yn tybio y bydd ateb yn cael ei ffeindio i hynny maes o law. Os felly, ac os ydy'r marchnadoedd yma'n dal i gynyddu, ac os ydy'r arian yn mynd i fod yn sylweddol, wel, mi ddylid edrych ar hynny, o bosib, fel ffordd o ychwanegu at yr arian sydd ar gael ar gyfer yr elfennau darlledu cyhoeddus sydd byth yn mynd i gael eu hariannu'n fasnachol.
I've always been concerned with regard to S4C whenever anybody thinks that there's an easy answer to funding questions. I think in this debate it's beneficial to keep a close eye on the funding outputs, because any mention made of giving responsibility for S4C to the Welsh Government, for me, means responsibility for funding S4C. So we have to be very clear about that and what that means.
Now, I think that we should be grateful to Cymdeithas yr Iaith for putting forward so many detailed suggestions in the latest document, and considering their role in establishing S4C, they do deserve to be heard in this. Those ideas are there, and some of them are very interesting to me, but others need to be considered in greater detail to see what the issues are. But, for example, the UK Government at the moment is going to put forward plans to tax digital transactions. So, Cymdeithas yr Iaith's model suggests, 'Well, yes, do that, expand it and use that funding specifically for the media.'
Now, you can see immediately the debate that arises as a result of that. The US is opposed, so this is going to be part of the discussions between the US and the UK with regard to trade. France has tried to introduce the same kind of measure and Macron has had to roll back on that, but it is a live issue. The perception is that the commercial media, the vast majority of them emanating from the US, are taking advantage of the rest of the world's economies without paying sufficient tax, and that's a very fair question, I think. One would imagine that a solution will be found for that in due course. And if so, and if these markets are still increasing and if the funding is going to be substantial, then one should look at that as a way, perhaps, of adding to the funding that is available for the public broadcasting elements that are never going to be funded commercially.
My starting point would always be that there's already a massive intervention in radio in Wales with the funding to two national BBC services, one of which is Welsh language. In commercial radio, we've been able to take advantage of the audio content fund recently, which has been established precisely to try to recreate programming that otherwise might not be funded by commercial radio. We were successful in a submission to that, and we're broadcasting a series of programmes on our west Wales local radio stations called Ar y Tir—On the Land, which are short interview pieces of people, predominantly from the farming community. That type of programming would not be funded by Nation Broadcasting in the ordinary course of events. For me, the biggest available public intervention already exists, and that moves the argument, then, to how you get the best effect out of the huge amount of money being spent on providing both BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru.
Thanks. There's a certain amount of déjà vu in terms of questions and some issues around the issue of regulation and the potential for regulatory divergence. Let's just get one thing clear: in terms of existing regulation, is there anything within the regulatory system as it exists at the moment that would actually prevent or provide a barrier to the production of more content for Welsh audiences?
In commercial radio, no. Obviously, it's up to us how we fund our programming and what we provide. Ultimately, we want to try to generate the biggest amount of audience hours possible to generate a return in advertising, either for our local or national advertisers.
The direction of regulation in commercial radio is towards deregulation, but in fairness, the protection of local news is effectively the other side. It's the balancing act for that. I accept the requirement for regulation, given that there's a scarce resource in terms of spectrum. There's nothing stopping us producing lots of programmes, but the direction of travel hasn't been towards that, it's been towards providing network programmes at a UK level—something we've seen with our competitors in the Cardiff market, with the emergence of Heart and Capital. Arguably, if you look at the BBC, the direction of travel with BBC Radio Wales has been away from speech and towards entertainment and personality-led programming. Again, I suppose, at the risk of repeating myself, that's where I'd like to see it—if there's going to be intervention, start there. Because commercial radio, and particularly local commercial radio, is under a lot of pressure. That whole model is being challenged and, indeed, our group in Wales now is amongst the last in the UK to actually operate radio stations for individual counties with content relevant to each individual county.
Does yna ddim byd amlwg yn dod i'r meddwl. Mae rhywun yn meddwl am y cwestiwn fel arall, fel arfer, sef: pa reoleiddio sydd mewn bodolaeth i orfodi creu deunydd o Gymru? Mae'r gallu i wneud hynny wedi mynd yn wanach, ond dylai rhywun ddim cymryd bod y gallu yna wedi diflannu yn llwyr chwaith.
Nothing comes to mind. One usually thinks of the question from the other way around, namely: what regulation exists to compel the creation of material and content in Wales? The ability to do that has been weakened, but one shouldn't take it that that ability has disappeared entirely either.
Well, that leads on, then, to the other aspect that I wanted to get into, that, if there were devolution of powers, what impact might there be—what would be the advantages and disadvantages of, effectively, a regulatory divergence within what is an increasingly global environment?
Well, I'll take that one on, perhaps, first. I think that there is a danger that you might lose what you've got, because, if it becomes more difficult to run an organisation commercially, then commercial businesses take the route of least resistance. And there is some evidence of that. So, if you look in Scotland, under a previous set of UK-wide regulations, Global handed back one of the big licences for Glasgow because they were at that time required to provide pretty much all of their programming from the nations; it's actually part of the regulations that have changed. So, there is some evidence of where a high level of requirement for broadcasting from the nation could actually lead to licences being handed back, becoming uneconomic. I think that's why it's difficult for me in the response. We've got the headline, 'Should we devolve communication?' What does that really look like? From my perspective, my starting point is wanting a level playing field, but, actually, in radio terms, allocating frequency isn't something that could be done just within Wales. So, what you'd end up doing potentially is creating a new regulator who would spend the vast majority of their time having to liaise with the existing regulator. So, you've created duplication, which, presumably, as a licensee, we'd end up paying for.
That's where it starts to get a little bit more difficult for me. It's, 'What's the purpose? What's going to be achieved?', albeit that I'm all for the ability for there to be perhaps more scrutiny over licence award decisions, complaints about services in Wales. And, certainly, in the case of S4C, I think the case is much more compelling than perhaps it is in radio, where we already operate in an environment where—you know, my competitor is BBC Radio 2, as well as the commercial radio stations, BBC Radio Wales and everyone else. So, if you've got Radio 2 operating in a completely different environment, where no content specific to Wales is required, and then Nation Radio's got to deliver a load more than it currently does, then it doesn't seem like we're making things better; it looks to me like that's going to be pretty difficult to deliver.
Y cwestiwn i mi yw: os nad oes yna reoleiddiwr Cymraeg, os nad ydy darlledu wedi'i ddatganoli fel cyfrifoldeb, ble mae llais Cymru ar faterion yn ymwneud â darlledu yn cael ei fynegi? Lle mae'r dystiolaeth yn cael ei chasglu, ynghyd ag edrych ar awgrymiadau Cymdeithas yr Iaith ynglŷn ag ariannu? Pwy sydd yna sy'n mynd i drilio i fewn i'r rheini i edrych ar faint ohonyn nhw sy'n stacio i fyny, a faint sydd ddim? Mae o'n teimlo i fi fel bod darlledu yn chwarae rhan mor sylfaenol mewn cymdeithas dyw hi ddim yn ddigon inni ddweud, 'Wel, dyw e ddim wedi'i ddatganoli, felly dyna ni, wnawn ni adael i'r drafodaeth ddigwydd yn rhywle arall.' Mi ddylai fod yna ryw ffordd o ddod â'r drafodaeth ynghyd, fel ein bod ni—. Achos mae yna duedd yng Nghymru inni fod yn adweithiol. Pan fo rhywbeth newydd yn digwydd yn y byd darlledu y tu allan, wedyn rydym ni efallai cael ein act at ei gilydd ac yn cael Aelodau Seneddol i ddadlau dros ariannu S4C ac ati, yn lle bod y gwaith yn digwydd yn barhaol, a bod yna ryw gonsensws yn cael ei greu a bod yna bwysau parhaol, pa un ai drwy Weinidogion neu mewn ffyrdd eraill, sydd yn mynegi deisyfiadau Cymru a hawliau Cymru.
A dwi'n meddwl bod yr Alban wedi bod yn fwy llwyddiannus yn hyn o beth. Pan fo rhywun yn gweld y £30 miliwn gafwyd i'r gwasanaeth yn yr Alban, o bosibl eu bod nhw wedi rhoi blaenoriaeth uwch yn hyn o beth. Mae yna adnoddau—wrth gwrs, mae cwestiwn o adnoddau yn hyn o beth, ond felly mae o'n teimlo i fi. Os nad ydym ni yn mynd lawr y trywydd rheoleiddio i Gymru, beth arall?
The question for me is: if there isn't a Welsh regulator, if broadcasting hasn't been devolved as a responsibility, where is the voice of Wales on issues related to broadcasting? Where is that going to be expressed? Where is the evidence gathered, as well as looking at suggestions of Cymdeithas yr Iaith with regard to funding? Who is going to drill down into those to look at how many of them stack up and how many don't? And it feels to me that broadcasting plays such a fundamental role in society that it isn't adequate for us to say, 'Well, it isn't devolved, so that's it, we'll leave the discussion to happen somewhere else'. There should be some way of bringing the parties together to discuss these issues. Because there is a tendency in Wales for us to be reactive. When something new happens in the world of broadcasting externally, then perhaps we'll get our act together and we'll get our Members of Parliament to debate the funding of S4C, instead of the work happening continually, and that there is some consensus created and there is continuous pressure, either through Ministers or by other means, to express the aspirations and the rights of Wales.
And I think that Scotland have been more successful in this regard. When one sees the £30 million received by the service in Scotland, perhaps they've prioritised or given greater priority to this. There's a question of resources related to this, but that's how it appears to me. If we don't pursue regulation for Wales, then what else are we going to do?
Can I take two aspects to that, then? We have a binary system, so we have a state-funded system and we also have then the commercial side to it. So, in terms of the regulatory side, perhaps I'll present it this way. There are significant challenges in terms of the commercial viability of that side to it, but in terms of the other side of the binary equation—the state-funded side—the issue there—. Is it correct that the real issue is the availability of resources and the ability to influence the way those resources are used, and that regulation is something that is seen as a means of trying to impact on the real problem, which is, actually, those resources and the ability to influence that? Is that really where we are on this?
Ie. Dwi'n meddwl bod hwnna'n gywir.
Yes. I think you are right.
Diolch, Cadeirydd. Wrth glywed eich atebion, mae un peth yn fy nharo i: yn gyntaf i gyd, mae'n rhaid inni ddiffinio beth yw darlledu. Pe buasem ni'n mynd nôl 30 mlynedd, wel, yna, darlledu oedd beth bynnag oedd yn dod trwyddo'r trosglwyddydd ar Wenfô a St Hilary, a dyna fe—dyna i gyd oedd. Ond nawr, wrth gwrs, rŷm ni'n byw mewn byd lle mae pobl yn gallu ffrydio; mae gyda ni Netflix, mae gyda ni Amazon Prime. A ydy'r rheini'n rhan o ddarlledu? Byddwn i’n dweud eu bod nhw yn. A dwi'n dweud hwnna—wrth gwrs, o achos hynny, mae'n ei wneud e'n llawer anoddach i reoleiddio wrth gofio'r ffaith bod nawr ffrydwyr a rhaglenni ar gael yn fyd eang. So, pa mor bell allwn ni fynd yn ymarferol yn y byd nawr ynglŷn â rheoleiddio darlledu? Rheoleiddio newyddion, efallai, a beth sydd yn y newyddion—mae hwnna'n bwysig; mae'n hollbwysig bod y newyddion yn cael ei ystyried ar bob sianel fel newyddion sydd yn gallu cael ei ymddiried ynddo, nid fel America. Ond beth, felly, byddai'r ffordd orau o wneud hwn: rheoleiddio neu sicrhau bod mwy o adnoddau ar gael? Os ydych chi’n rhoi arian i bobl, yna maen nhw'n mynd i ddefnyddio'r arian yna i ddarlledu. A ydy hwnna, efallai, yn fwy effeithiol na mynnu bod pobl yn darlledu ac wedyn rhedeg y risg o'r leisens, fel dywedodd Martin, y drwydded, yn cael ei roi nôl i'r corff sydd yn rheoleiddio’r trwyddedau? Rheoleiddio neu adnoddau, neu gymysg, efallai, o'r ddau?
Thank you, Chair. In listening to your responses, there is one thing that strikes me: first of all, we need to define broadcasting. If we were to go back 30 years, then broadcasting was whatever came through the Wenvoe and St Hilary transmitters—that's all there was. But now, we're living in a world where people can stream; we have Netflix, Amazon Prime. Are those included in broadcasting? I would say that they are. And I would say that, because of that, it makes it far more difficult to regulate, bearing in mind that there are now streaming services available on a global level. So, how far can we go in practical terms, as things currently stand, in regulation of broadcasting? We can regulate news, perhaps, and what's contained there. It's crucially important that news is covered on all channels as news that can be trusted, unlike the situation in America, perhaps. But what would be the best way of doing this: regulation, or ensuring that there are more resources available? Because, if you give funds to people, they will use those funds to broadcast. Is that, perhaps, more effective than insisting that people do certain things and then running the risk, as Martin said, of the licence being handed back to the regulatory body? So, is it resources or regulation or a mixture of both?
Wel, mewn ffordd, os ydych chi, fel gwlad, yn rheoli adnodd a allai fod o werth i rywun masnachol, megis amser ar yr awr, mae hwnna yn gyfystyr ag arian, os ydych chi'n gallu ei fesur o'n gywir. Felly, mae o’n gymysgedd, ond mae’n rhaid i rywun wneud yr asesiad o beth ydy gwerth y rhodd yna rydych chi’n ei rhoi i rywun fel hawl i ddarlledu, os mai dyna ydy'r peth. Ac mae pob un o’r cyrff rydych chi wedi sôn amdanyn nhw, yr Amazons a'r Netflixes, maen nhw’n dod i mewn i’r cartrefi dan amodau ychydig bach yn wahanol, onid ydyn? Ac mae rhai ohonyn nhw, mae’n mynd i fod yn anodd iawn mynnu eu bod nhw’n gwneud hyn a’r llall oni bai eich bod chi yn gosod rhyw amod trethiannol o ryw fath. Felly, dydy hwn ddim yn mynd i fod yn hawdd, ond mae yna syniadau sydd yn werth eu dilyn i fyny, dwi’n meddwl.
Well, in a way, if you, as a nation, control the resource that could be of value to a commercial operator, such as time on the air, then that is tantamount to money, if you measure it correctly. So, it is an equivalent, but one has to assess the value of that gift that you give someone as a right to broadcast. And every one of the bodies that you have mentioned—the Amazons and the Netflixes, they come into the home under different circumstances, don't they? And, for some of them, it's going to be very difficult to require them to do this, that and the other, unless you set some sort of taxation requirement. So, this isn't going to be easy, but there are ideas here that are worth pursuing, I think.
Ond ai diwedd y gân yw’r geiniog? Money talks yn Saesneg. Mae hwnna’n anodd ei gyfieithu, onid ydy e?
But does it essentially all come down to the money? 'Money talks,' that's what they say in English, isn't it?
Dwi yn meddwl allwn ni ddim crwydro yn bell iawn o hwnna achos, fy mhrofiad i yn S4C ar hyd y blynyddoedd yw'r ymladd yma i ddarparu gwasanaeth sydd yn deilwng o'r hyn mai Cymru ei hangen ac yn ei haeddu gyda chyllid penodol sydd â ffiniau iddo fo.
Well, we can't diverge very far away from that, because my experience from S4C over the years is that there's a constant battle to provide a service that is worthy of Wales with a limited budget.
From my perspective, I think that combination of carrot and stick probably works quite well. A regulatory stick—let's concentrate, perhaps, on the delivery of news. The carrot of, 'Here's some funding available if you want to go and create programmes that you otherwise wouldn't, particularly in areas of speech and local interest'. That's, effectively, the model we're already in. The difficulty, as you say, is whilst, I think, the argument around spectrum obviously applies to FM, which is beginning to decline—. We're seeing DAB digital broadcasting, particularly in Cardiff, beginning to take over as a method of delivery. So, DAB spectrum is limited, but, if you declare yourself an internet broadcaster, broadcasting across the UK, that happens to be based in Wales, well, that's where it starts to get a little bit more difficult. And, ultimately, I suspect that internet-type delivery will become the primary method of delivery. It's much more efficient than putting lots of big sticks of metal into various areas of Wales. But we're decades away from that, I would suggest.
But, again, even with DAB, which is the sort of mid-term position, you've already got, in the provision of Digital One and Switchdigital, and the BBC national multiplex, UK-wide multiplexes. So, applying Welsh-only regulation to something that is delivered already at a UK level I think is quite challenging. And, to refer to my previous answer, in my sector, Bridge FM still has to compete with Radio 2, talkSPORT. We've gone from a position, let's say in Pembrokeshire, where, when Radio Pembrokeshire started, there were, I think, eight radio stations available on your FM dial. In Pembrokeshire, there are 70 radio stations available on DAB. And applying that regulation to something other than the smallest is, I think, going to prove very challenging.
Gaf i ychwanegu un peth? Mae angen cadw llygad ar beth sy'n digwydd mewn gwledydd eraill hefyd, achos mae'r rhan fwyaf o wledydd eraill maen nhw hefyd yn gweld y bygythiad o lif o ddeunydd mewn Saesneg yn unig yn dod i mewn i'r cartrefi. Maen nhw hefyd yn gofyn y cwestiwn. Ac nid jest y gwledydd ieithoedd lleiafrifol dwi'n ei feddwl nawr, ond dwi'n sôn am wledydd llawer mwy. Ffrainc ydy'r enghraifft fawr yn hyn o beth, sy'n wlad fawr, ond wedi ffeindio modd yn y gorffennol i roi treth ar fideos er mwyn cynhyrchu ffilmiau yn yr iaith Ffrangeg.
Felly, ddylem ni ddim meddwl ein bod ni ar ein pennau ein hunain fan hyn, ac mae yna amrywiaeth, dwi'n meddwl, o bethau yn bosibl, sy'n cynnwys elfennau rheoleiddio, naill ai drwy reoleiddiwr Cymreig, neu drwy reoleiddiwr Prydeinig yn gwneud pethau yn wahanol. Mae yna drethi'n gallu dod i mewn i'r peth, ac mae yna drwyddedau, fel sydd gennym ni ar hyn o bryd hefyd. Mae'r mix yn newid, a dydyn ni ddim ar ein pennau ein hunain.
If I could just add one thing, we do need to keep an eye on what happens elsewhere too, because most other nations also see this threat of a stream of material in English only coming into people's homes. They're also asking questions. And it's not just minority language nations I'm talking about here. I'm talking about far larger nations, and France, of course, is the great example here, which is a large nation, but has in the past found means of taxing video content in order to produce films in the French language.
So, we shouldn't think that we are alone here, and there is a range of things that are possible, including elements of regulation, either through having a Welsh regulator, or a UK-wide regulator doing things differently. There is taxation that can come into the equation, and there is also licensing, as we currently have. The mix is changing, but we're not alone in this.
Roedd hynny'n rhywbeth roeddwn i'n mynd i'w ofyn, achos, os edrychwn ni, er enghraifft, ar Weriniaeth Iwerddon, mae'r BBC ar gael ymhob rhan, bron a bod—o leiaf o ddwyrain Gweriniaeth Iwerddon—ac mae pobl yna yn gallu gwrando ar radio neu deledu sy'n dod o Brydain. Wrth gwrs, mae trosglwyddyddion—beth bynnag ydyn nhw'n Gymraeg, transmitters—ar gael yng Ngogledd Iwerddon, ac felly maen nhw'n gallu cyrraedd y rhan fwyaf o Iwerddon. Nawr, dydyn nhw ddim yn dweud, 'Wel, mae'n rhaid inni reoleiddio beth sy'n dod i mewn i'r wlad ynglŷn â darlledu a negeseuon sy'n dod i mewn', ond mae gyda nhw, wrth gwrs, sector eithaf cryf eu hunain, sector brodorol.
Os ydym ni'n meddwl am reoleiddio, pa fath o wahaniaeth fyddai fe'n ei wneud pe buasem ni'n gallu tyfu'r sector brodorol—os allaf i ei ofyn e fel yna—er mwyn sicrhau ein bod ni'n anelu at y sefyllfa mae Iwerddon ynddi ar hyn o bryd? Achos, fel dywedais i—mae pobl yn cael newyddion o Iwerddon, maen nhw'n cael y newyddion o'r Deyrnas Unedig, o achos y ffaith eu bod nhw'n gallu, a dydy e ddim yn cael ei ystyried fel rhyw fath o broblem yn Iwerddon.
That was something that I was going to ask, because, if we look at the Republic of Ireland, for example, the BBC is available in all parts, almost—at least in the east of the Republic—and people can listen to radio and watch television that is broadcast from the UK. Transmitters—whatever 'transmitters' are in Welsh—are available in Northern Ireland, so they can reach the majority of the Republic as well. Now, they don't say, 'Well, we have to regulate what comes into the nation in terms of broadcasting', but they have quite a strong and robust sector themselves, an indigenous sector.
If we think about regulation, what kind of a difference would it make if we could develop the indigenous sector—if I can ask it like that—to ensure that we aim to be in the same situation as the Republic of Ireland at the moment? Because people get their news from Ireland, they get it from the United Kingdom, because they can, and that's not considered a problem in the Republic.
Byddwn i eisiau astudio mwy ynglŷn â sut yn union mae'r farchnad iaith Saesneg yn Iwerddon yn gweithio. Fy nhyb i ydy bod gwasanaethau BBC yn cyrraedd drwy sianeli cabl a lloeren yn hytrach na drwy deledu daearol, felly mae hynny'n golygu bod rhywun yn talu—bod y cwsmer yn talu am y gwasanaethau—a'u bod nhw'n cael gwasanaethau BBC fel pecyn. Byddwn i'n tybio bod y BBC yn cael arian yn ôl o hynny un ffordd neu'r llall. Mae sefyllfa Cymru yn wahanol. Mae'r ffin yn nes. Mae'n fwy anodd ei reoli yn hynny o beth ac yn codi cwestiynau mwy cymhleth, dwi'n meddwl.
I would want to look in more detail as to how exactly the English-language market in Ireland works. I would assume that BBC services reach homes through cable and satellite channels rather than terrestrial, so that would mean that somebody, somewhere is paying—that the customer, essentially, is paying for those services—and that they receive BBC services as part of a package. I would assume that the BBC is reimbursed for that one way or another. The Welsh situation is different. We have a porous border, and it's more difficult to manage in that regard and raises more complex questions.
Un cwestiwn bach arall sydd gyda fi, a hynny yw: oes yna fodd i greu cydbwysedd rhwng y fantais dwi'n gweld o allu defnyddio adnoddau Prydeinig—os edrychwch chi'n edrych ar y BBC, a dim ond y BBC, gallech chi defnyddio'r adnoddau yma sydd gan y BBC ar draws Prydain Fawr—ond sicrhau bod yr agwedd ddim yn hollol Brydeinig a ddim, wrth gwrs, yn ystyried sefyllfa datganoli? Oes yna ffordd i daro'r cydbwysedd yna?
One final, brief question, and that is: is it possible to create or strike a balance between the advantage that I see in being able to use UK resources—if you look at the BBC, and just the BBC, you can use the resources that the BBC has across the UK—but also ensuring that the attitude isn't entirely UK-centric, without considering the situation of devolution? Can we strike that balance?
Mae'n dibynnu lle mae'r llais a'r grym, onid ydy? A dwi'n meddwl mai'r cwestiynau yna—. Byddwn i yn tybio bod y BBC wedi gwrando dros y blynyddoedd diweddar ynglŷn â'r anghenion yma sy'n cael eu mynegi'n gyson o Gymru gan bobl sy'n cynrychioli Cymru ar fwrdd y BBC, yn ogystal â gwleidyddion ac eraill. Ond, mae'n frwydr barhaol, onid ydyw? Dwi ddim wedi tybio bod yna atebion hawdd i'r cwestiwn yma, ond dwi yn dod yn ôl at y cwestiwn ynghylch lle mae llais Cymru'n cael ei fynegi. Mae'r ffaith bod protocolau wedi cael eu creu pan grëwyd datganoli ynglŷn â'r angen i ymgynghori ar faterion yn ymwneud â Chymru sydd ddim wedi cael eu datganoli, dwi'n meddwl bod yna gwestiwn ynghylch a ydy'r protocolau yna'n cael eu gweithredu ac a ydyn nhw'n cael eu gweithredu'n dryloyw y dylid ei ystyried yn ofalus.
It depends where the voice is heard and where the power lies. And I think that—. I would assume that the BBC would have listened over recent years in terms of these needs that are so regularly expressed from Wales by people who represent Wales on the BBC board, as well as politicians and others, of course. But, it is an ongoing battle, isn't it? I am not convinced that there are easy solutions to this question, but I do come back to this issue of where the Welsh voice is heard. The fact that protocols have been created when devolution was put in place on the need to consult on issues related to Wales but which are non-devolved, then I do think that there is a question as to whether those protocols are being implemented, and whether they are being implemented in a transparent manner, and we should consider those questions carefully.
For me, my arguments around the BBC often relate to content. I take a view that we've paid for it once, so it should be available to everyone, including us, to rebroadcast to a new audience. The BBC, in fairness, have taken steps with things like the local democracy reporting service. I'd like to see that go potentially further. I can't see the benefit in the BBC having particularly exclusive content. It could be retransmitted. There might be some rights issues around that. But, I also accept that in putting forward that argument, you open the door to the word that I often find difficult to pronounce in English, which is 'plurality'—that you end up with there just being one news voice, and it's from the BBC.
But, I think that, potentially, the BBC could do more. They are creating a lot of content that doesn't reach as wide an audience as possible. It's frustrating to see the BBC continue to put walls up. BBC Sounds is a classic example of the BBC not really operating in co-operation and trying to take its content and deliver it itself. It would be great to see the BBC trying to get its content much, much wider, potentially including the re-broadcast of certain content—particularly news interviews, for example, or sports interviews—in the commercial sector. But, as I've said, that's still my starting point: you've got this massive public intervention, I think that that's the area that particularly could be improved in terms of supervision, governance and actually getting the best value for the public money that is being spent in this country.
Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd. I just want to look at the position of the BBC. When Rhodri Talfan Davies came in, he said that the current model of BBC Cymru Wales is very beneficial, actually, because it's part, obviously, of the UK BBC network, and this combines the best of both worlds, really—highly adapted towards the Welsh audience, but also having that power in terms of resources and the ability to generate first-class content.
And, even if you look at something like the six nations rugby, now it's in doubt whether the BBC will be able to retain that for free view, but the wonder is that we've had it so long, probably, given the huge commercial forces in English and French rugby. At least we're there, with a powerful voice and an ability to try to shape things, and, who knows, we still may be able to carve something out for the Welsh matches. This is all being considered at the moment. So, is there much wrong with that model, because it does seem to me that there are advantages with it?
Y broblem fwyaf dwi'n ei gweld yn dod i fyny ydy—os caf i gyfeirio at S4C yn benodol—rydym ni wedi cael adolygiad o S4C yn 2018, a'r ateb a roddwyd ynglŷn â'r cwestiwn o sut mae cael sefydlogrwydd ariannol oedd i roi'r cyllido i gyd i ddod drwy'r drwydded deledu. Yn awr, mae yna gwestiynau ynglŷn â'r drwydded deledu yn codi. Felly, mae'n amlwg bod pob peth yn ymwneud efo'r BBC ar y naill law, ond hefyd ynglŷn ag S4C, yn agored i drafodaeth. Mi fydd pob rhan o'r BBC yn ymladd i gadw'r hyn sydd ganddyn nhw, ac mi fydd S4C, wrth gwrs, yn ymladd i gadw'r hyn sydd gan S4C.
Mae'r ddêl rhwng S4C a'r BBC wedi ein galluogi ni i gyrraedd 2022. Y tu hwnt i hynny, does yna ddim sicrwydd ariannol ac felly mae'n anodd iawn rhoi ateb strêt i'ch cwestiwn chi, sydd yn dweud 'Ydy hwn as good as it gets?' Mae'r cyfan yn dibynnu ar y cyllid. Y cyfan dwi'n ei ddweud ydy ei bod hi wedi bod yn bosib gwneud trefniant sydd wedi gwarchod y cyllido ar gyfer rhaglenni Cymraeg—er bod hwnnw dipyn go lew yn is na beth oedd o—o dan y drefn bresennol drwy ewyllys da a drwy cydweithio. Ond, os oes pwysau ychwanegol yn cael ei greu ar bob ran o'r setliad yna oherwydd pwysau ariannol, mae'n bosib y bydd yn gwegian.
The greatest problem that I see emerging—if I could refer to S4C specifically in this regard—we have had a review of S4C in 2018, and the conclusion reached on the question of how to achieve financial stability was to pass the funding so that it came through the licence fee. Now, there are questions posed about the licence fee. So, it is clear that everything related to the BBC on the one hand, but also in terms of S4C, is up for discussion. Every part of the BBC will be fighting to retain what they have, and S4C, of course, will fight to retain what S4C has.
Now, the deal between S4C and the BBC has enabled us to reach 2022—it takes us up to that point. But, there is no financial certainty beyond that point, and therefore it is very difficult to give a straight answer to your question, which asked 'Is this as good as it gets?' It is all dependent on funding. All I would say is that it has been possible to make arrangements that have safeguarded funding for Welsh language output—although that is substantially lower than it was—under the current system through goodwill and through collaboration. But, if there is additional pressure placed on all parts of that settlement because of financial pressures, then it may creak.
From my perspective, I think you very quickly get to the question of, 'Well, what's the BBC for in relation to radio?' It's very clear what BBC Radio Cymru is for, what it does and why it exists. I think my frustration and one of the ways in which I think the BBC could become better is that the BBC judges its success by its audience figures. We're seeing, I think, the rounding of the edges in terms of BBC Radio Wales in particular as to what it is there to provide. It's moving relentlessly closer to the commercial radio sector, and I don't think that's a particularly good thing, but I understand why that's what's happening. It's much easier to play a record than it is to produce four minutes of high-quality speech interviews. Given a complete starting point, that's likely to be more popular, to play somebody's favourite song, than it is to interview one of you guys about something that's happening in the news today.
But, actually, in my view, that's what BBC Radio Wales is for: it's to provide what the commercial sector cannot. So, a direction back towards quality content, however that's funded, and away from personality music presentation is something that I would like to see. But that, again, has to come hand in hand with, if BBC Radio Wales's figures go down as a result, not bashing the BBC in terms of 'Well, what am I paying my licence fee for if nobody is listening?' So, again, you've got quite a complex thing. I think the simple point, then, is to get into the discussion on this big public intervention of the BBC and how it's funded in radio and what it is seeking to achieve.
So you'd like to carry BBC news reports, would you? And why not? It's been publicly paid for.
It could strengthen the argument for a licence fee and it would put their figures up as well, because they could count when people are listening to them via you.
I'm not sure I'd go quite that far. I'd like to see their content. So I think, if there is an interview piece with George North after a six nations game, there's no reason why that clip couldn't be made available more widely. So that content's been created. I don't think I'd go quite so far as saying, 'Well, we'll just lift the fader and take the same news bulletin.' I think there is advantage in having editorial control and I'm sure, actually, you wouldn't want the only voice to be heard to be that of the BBC in actually deciding what gets to air. But certainly, in commercial radio, there's been an overall decline in on-the-ground journalism, and that type of content, the actual audio clips, would be really very useful and would certainly reach a wider audience if it did become available.
My other question—we've already touched on it, but I don't know if you want to add anything—is about what would be the implications of a Wales-only approach to managing spectrum. I thought you gave a very powerful argument about, 'Well, what do you with the likes of Radio 2', which is a direct competitor to those managed in Wales, if we went to that model. Are there any other bear traps we need to be aware of, should we go down that route?
As mentioned earlier, radio signals don't respect land borders, so in the creation of the local multiplex covering north-east Wales, there's massive overspill into Liverpool, and vice versa. In relation to the Cardiff and Valleys multiplex, there's massive overspill into Bristol. We've already seen one intervention, although I don't believe it was successful, with a radio station purporting to be covering Cardiff actually broadcasting on the Somerset transmitters and just trying to get across the water. So whilst it's technically possible with a load of re-engineering to regulate the physical transmitters at Wenvoe, St Hilary, and so on, there is already an opportunity to circumvent. As I've said, if I just declared Radio Pembrokeshire a UK-wide internet broadcaster and took it off FM, then suddenly you've failed in trying to achieve that greater level of regulation. So, I suppose it's a be-careful-what-you-wish-for statement. But, yes, it's technically possible. It's weighing up whether that is massively of benefit. My view is that the area that perhaps you should be concentrating on is somewhere in the middle. It's the allocation of that spectrum in the first place, and then the regulation of it. So, if there's a complaint about a service in Wales, I would certainly prefer that there's somebody who understands Wales managing that complaint, for example. We've got a bit of form on that with Ofcom London, in terms of them understanding the context of rugby being more important than football, for example, in this country.
Controversial. Controversial. [Laughter.]
Thank you. We're going to have to move on. We've only got four or five more minutes in this session, and I want to bring John Griffiths in.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. A lot of the discussions, questions and answers have been about where responsibility lies—where power lies, really, ultimately. So, looking to the future then, in terms of broadcasting in Wales, do you believe there should be major shifts in where power lies? And if so, why?
I ryw raddau, dwi'n teimlo fy mod i wedi rhoi fy ateb i hyn, sef dwi yn meddwl bod angen bod â llygaid agored ynglŷn ag i ba raddau y mae'r trefniadau ariannol presennol yn gallu parhau am byth. Y flaenoriaeth yn y tymor byr yw sicrhau eu bod nhw'n parhau, a sicrhau bod Cymru'n cael digon i alluogi cyrff darlledu Cymru i wneud y gwaith maen nhw angen ei wneud ar gyfer Cymru. Ond mi ddylid bod yn pro-active yn y broses o feddwl am y dyfodol, ac i mi, os oes yna atebion amgen i'r dyfodol, mae'n bosibl bod y rheini'n agor y drws i drefniadau newydd. Ond byddwn i'n sicr yn dymuno bod yn glir fy meddwl fod yr atebion yna ynglŷn â chyllido yn rhai sydd yn dal dŵr ac yn rhai y gall darlledwyr ddibynnu arnyn nhw.
To some extent, I think that I have already given my answer to this, namely that I do think that we have to keep an eye open on the extent to which current financial arrangements can continue forever. The priority in the short term is to ensure that they do continue, and to ensure that Wales receives sufficient funding to enable broadcasting bodies in Wales to do the work that they need to do for Wales. But we should be pro-active in the process of trying to think about the future, and for me, if there are going to be alternative answers for the future, then that could perhaps open the door to new arrangements. But I would certainly wish to be clear in my mind that those solutions with regard to funding hold water and provide funding that the broadcasters can depend on.
For me, I think we need to concentrate on those central themes. I think a greater level of scrutiny and intervention in the systems that already exists is perhaps going to give a better outcome.
I see. And in terms of S4C, where obviously there are particular issues in terms of possible devolution, and many would say a stronger case, would you say that there are any aspects of devolution of regulation that should take place with regard to S4C?
Wel, dwi ddim yn credu hynny. Dwi'n meddwl naill ai mae'r dadleuon yn ymwneud â datganoli darlledu yn ei gyfanrwydd, neu ddim. Mae datganoli S4C yn golygu datganoli'r cyfrifoldeb am gyllido S4C, a dwi'n dod yn ôl rownd y cylch: ocê, o ble mae'r cyllid yn dod?
Mae bwrdd S4C yn gorff sydd yn bodoli gydag un pwrpas yn unig, sef darparu gwasanaeth—neu wasanaethau erbyn hyn—cyfryngol Cymraeg eu hiaith. Mae o'n gorff sydd â'r hawl i wneud ei benderfyniadau ei hun. Does yna ddim llawer o gyfyngiadau arno fo. Mae'r cyfyngiad ar wneud pethau digidol wedi mynd. Y cyfyngiad sydd ar S4C yw cyllid. Felly, dwi ddim yn crwydro'n bell iawn o'r pwynt sylfaenol yna. Ac i unrhyw un sy’n dadlau dros ddatganoli S4C yn unig, byddwn i am iddyn nhw brofi beth yw'r budd i'r cyhoedd o wneud hynny.
Well, I don't believe that. I think the arguments are around either devolving broadcasting as an entity, or not devolving broadcasting. Devolving S4C would mean devolving the responsibility for funding S4C, and therefore, I come back full circle: right, where's the money coming from?
The S4C board is a body that exists with a single purpose, namely to provide a service—or services now—on the media through the medium of Welsh. It's a body that has the right to make its own decisions. There aren't many restrictions upon it. The restrictions on digital operation have been removed. The limitation on S4C is a limitation of funding. So, I don't move too far from that fundamental point. And for anyone who is arguing for the devolution of S4C alone, I would want them to prove what the benefit to the public would be of doing that.
That's not one for me.
We've done the third question, have we?
Diolch yn fawr iawn i'r ddau ohonoch chi, a dŷn ni'n gwerthfawrogi'ch tystiolaeth yn fawr iawn. Fel mae'r broses yn mynd yn ei blaen, byddwch chi, dwi'n siŵr, yn cadw llygad barcud ar beth sydd gan dystion eraill i'w ddweud. Mae croeso cynnes i chi ddod atom ni gydag unrhyw beth ychwanegol ysgrifenedig os dŷch chi eisiau ymateb i unrhyw sylwadau dŷch chi'n eu clywed oddi wrth bobl eraill. Byddwn ni—fel dŷn ni'n ei wneud fel arfer—yn danfon transcript atoch chi fel eich bod chi'n gallu sicrhau ein bod ni wedi cofnodi'n iawn popeth dŷch wedi'i ddweud, a dwi'n hynod o ddiolchgar i'r ddau ohonoch chi. Diolch yn fawr.
Thank you very much, both of you, and we do very much appreciate the evidence that you have given us today. As the process continues, I'm sure you'll keep a close eye on what other witnesses have to say on this issue, but you are more than welcome to come back to us with any additional information in written form if you wish to do so, to respond to any comments that you hear from other witnesses. We—as is customary—will be sending a transcript to you so you can check it for factual accuracy to ensure that we have recorded everything that you have said correctly, and I'm very grateful to both of you. Thank you very much.
Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Thank you very much.
Good morning. Thank you very much for joining us. We're very pleased to have you here with us. If we may, we'll go straight into questions, Professor Lewis, if that's okay?
That's great. Thank you very much. So, can you tell us, in your opinion, is the provision of news and current affairs for Welsh audiences, as things stand, adequate? And if it isn't, how would you like to see it improved?
I think the answer to that is 'probably not'. The problem, I think, comes from the fact that there are not that many news providers in Wales. BBC Wales and ITV Wales: they exist, that's great, they do a decent job. I think the problem is that most people consume their news on network broadcasts, and the UK providers, like ITV, BBC, while I think they've made efforts—and I've been very much involved in trying to sort of persuade them to make those efforts over the years—to give due credence to the nature of the devolved UK that we live in, I think that that often gets lost in the kind of rush to get a story out and broadcast.
So, we've been tracking this for a number of years now. We've been tracking the way in which UK broadcasters talk about devolved issues like health and education. By and large, they focus almost exclusively on what happens in England. The problem is that their signalling that this is only happening in England is very weak. So, there'll be a phrase somewhere in the introduction, 'This is happening in England', but when we've tried this out and tested this out on audiences, they usually miss that signalling completely. And that signalling is often contradicted by other kinds of phrases during a broadcast, which refer to 'the health Minister' or 'the education Minister'—the implication being that this is the health Minister and the education Minister for all of the UK, because that's who's being spoken to at this point. And, as a consequence, people really find it difficult to grasp, I think, the realities of particular news stories.
A case in point: as you will well know, the junior doctors' dispute was a dispute that happened in England; it didn't happen in Wales. We actually showed that story to a number of people, and we showed versions of the story where fairly weak signalling was given—the point was made that this was happening in England; the point wasn't made that different things were happening in Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland—and people completely missed it. We asked people how the story affected them, and they would say, 'Well, that's a bit of a worry, I hope I don't get sick.' Actually, it had no effect on them, but they felt that it probably did. And I think there were only very few exceptions to that. If people are very, very well informed about devolution, they know that's not the case, but most are not in that position.
So, there is a clear problem, I think, with people understanding where responsibility lies in the UK. And you will be very familiar with surveys that show that levels of knowledge about devolution, about who controls what, are still very vague and very fuzzy. And I think that network broadcasting doesn't help on that front by weak signalling, and also, I think, by perhaps not doing what there's a huge opportunity for journalists to do, and doing more compare and contrast, which is to say, 'Okay, in Scotland, they do it this way; in Wales, they do it this way; in England, they do it this way. Let's have a look at that.' There are different policy options available. And I think that would be of value to audiences in England, actually, because audiences in England will be able to say, 'Well, actually, in Wales, they do it this way; maybe we would like our Government to do it this way', or vice versa. But either way, I think it gives audiences the chance to compare and contrast.
So, I do think there's a problem and, I guess, in my written testimony, that's one argument, I think, to do with news and current affairs that I've been involved in particularly. I think there are other issues too, but I do think there's a problem here. How you solve that, I think, is a difficult one, because it's not as if parts of the BBC are not aware of this problem. BBC Wales: I talk to them a lot, and they're very aware of this problem. It's getting people in London to listen, which is more of a struggle. But there is an issue here, I think.
That's helpful, thank you. To what extent do you think that the growth of consumer choice in audio and in video has led to a growth of content for specifically Welsh audiences? Has the plurality of platforms helped or made worse the situation that you were describing?
Broadly speaking, I think, in terms of news, you'd have to say things have got worse, without any doubt at all, over the last 20 years. So, we've seen the closure of titles, particularly in print. We've seen titles absorbing things, so even if they apparently cover an area, really, it's just one reporter where four existed before. We've seen some counter movements to that. So, we've seen the growth of community journalism, I think, which is a very positive sign, but that's a very fragile sector existing in very fragile economic circumstances.
I set up something called the Centre for Community Journalism at the School of Journalism, which is there to try and support that sector in any way that it can, to help them find business models that work. But, overall, I think the number of journalists reporting news for Wales about Wales has declined, and it's not clear that the business model for replacing those through commercial systems really exists yet, for obvious reasons that we're all aware of: people now expect to get their news for nothing, don't expect to pay for it, and the loss of advertising and the move from print to online is huge.
So, you can charge far less for an online news service for advertisers than you can for a print news service. And local journalists are very aware of that. Ironically, I think that a lot of community journalism outlets are actually now thinking about moving to print, because they'll get more advertising revenues that way, which seems odd in the internet age, but it's just a kind of quirk of that loss of advertising revenue. So, I don't think the market has—. I suppose there are two areas of the creative industries where digital disruption has been particularly damaging: one is news, and I think the other is music. We've not yet seen business models recover.
And would it be right for me to infer from what you've said that you think that that's probably more of a problem for Welsh language content and material for Welsh language audiences, and is even more of an issue than it it for English-medium audiences?
Gosh, that's a difficult question. It's an issue for both—there's no doubt about that. So, I've never really thought about the comparative: which is in the worse position? They're clearly both very vulnerable, and without intervention—. I think you're more inclined to see intervention around Welsh language, for obvious reasons, and I think that that's necessary. But you're less inclined to see it about English language, which means that English-language news, I think, often won't have that particular possibility open to it. But clearly there are vulnerabilities for both.
Can I just ask you some questions? I know you've given evidence on other occasions around this area of regulation and regulatory divergence. Perhaps if I meld some of the questions I want to ask together: what are your views on the issue of regulation, and what might the implications of regulatory divergence be were broadcasting to be devolved?
I think there's an interesting issue here. There's no doubt—and I heard some of the testimony that you've just been discussing—that regulation in this area is incredibly complex, because of cross-border transmissions and all sorts of issues to do with who's broadcasting from where. It's a difficult area.
But, I think that there's a key philosophical question, which is that: having the power to do something doesn't mean that you then do it. So, for example, if the Welsh Government has the regulatory power over broadcasting, it doesn't then mean that it's going to completely diverge from the rest of the UK in everything that it does. It may well be that it actually makes much more sense to align with UK regulation.
But, what I think it does mean—and I think that this is, for me, one of the most important things—is that it enables Wales to move beyond a very weak position now, which is that the Welsh Government will be consulted about UK-wide decisions that are made by the Government in Westminster, particularly about the BBC, but there is absolutely no obligation for whoever is in Government to listen to that consultation at all. Experience suggests that that is often the case. Whereas I think that, if there was a legal obligation to take into account the views of Welsh Government because broadcasting was devolved, that gives the Welsh Government a seat, potentially, at a table around which the issues to do with the future of the BBC will be discussed. I think that that's incredibly important.
If we get to a situation, for example—and there has been a lot of discussion about this recently—where a Government decides that it wants to abolish the licence fee and move to a subscription model for the BBC, that would have a dramatic effect on funding for the BBC, which in turn has a dramatic effect on the screen industries in Wales. The BBC is a key anchor institution for the whole broadcasting ecology in Wales. If that institution is severely threatened, that's going to affect the strength of the creative industries in Wales. The screen industries have been an incredible success story in Wales over the last 10 years. That would be hugely jeopardised by such a move.
But, it's much more difficult to make such a move if the Welsh Government says, 'No, hang on. No, no. We don't support that. We don't agree with that', when a consensual decision has to be taken between broadcasters in Westminster and Wales, and potentially elsewhere, about those kinds of future decisions. I'm not sure how to get Welsh Government a seat at that table in any other way.
So, having a seat, or having a voice, as was referred to earlier, is one thing, but you seem to be almost encroaching on the suggestion of almost having a veto in terms of regulation with regard to Wales—that that would be a requirement of having that voice. I don't know whether that is what you were saying, because it seemed to me you were.
Slightly different. I guess I was saying that responsibility over major decisions that affect Wales in broadcasting—that the views of the Welsh Government must be heard. Not just, 'You can write us a bit of consultation and we'll read it, but if we don't like it we'll ignore it', but that actually they must be heard. I think that would actually make for, to be honest, much more stable decision making about issues around the licence fee. Personally, I would prefer Government to be entirely removed from decisions about the licence fee. I think it compromises the impartiality of the BBC that Governments are able to make decisions about the licence fee. That seems to be a clear problematic relationship, so I would prefer to see them removed entirely.
Other than the fact, of course, that Government has to be the determinant of the existence of the licence fee, because Government created the licence fee.
But, in theory, the BBC is independent and impartial, and it's very difficult to be independent and impartial if a Government makes all kinds of threatening noises about what you are doing and has the power to basically decimate you as an organisation. That strikes me as not hands off. That's not independent. I think either we need to come up with other structures—and I don't see that happening, so I'm being practical here—or we come up with ways of making decisions that are much more consensual. I think that would lead to greater stability. I think if all the nations were involved in decisions where everybody had to agree on a way forward—I'm not talking about a veto here, I'm talking more about consensual decision making.
Okay, so a mechanism as to how that might be created. But, does it not boil down to—we almost got to this with the previous evidence session—really and inevitably, the amount of resource that you have and how you influence the use of that resource? That might be a completely separate thing from the issue of devolution of broadcasting or even regulatory divergence.
I think resource is an issue; although, here, I don't think it's just about resource. If a Government in Westminster is making decisions about UK-wide broadcasters on behalf of the UK in a way that adversely affects broadcasting in any particular devolved nation, then I think there needs to be a way of the views of that nation being taken into account. And it's not just about resource; I guess it's about the general regulatory structure of UK broadcasting.
But resource is fundamental, isn't it? Without resource, you can't actually do it.
The issue comes down to what is the best mechanism for influencing and having a say within the decision-making process.
I guess what I'm saying is what I would not necessarily see is this as just a story of all of the, say, BBC or other resources somehow being given a, sort of, Welsh area. I think, actually, we're much better off having a UK-wide broadcaster with a very strong Welsh component to it, hence resource is neutral in that sense. So, we're not necessarily arguing for more resource.
How do you answer the point that was made, though, about the aspect of commercial broadcasting, where, effectively, the issue of divergence would seriously potentially compromise its viability?
The viability of what, sorry—the BBC?
I mean, that's an issue, clearly, and I think that that's something where having at least the power to look at that would be a good thing. I mean, I do think that the power you'd have as a nation in terms of devolved broadcasting will be limited because of the complexity, but I think at least having the ability to think about a separate way forward would be useful, and I'm absolutely not playing down the complexities of this. They are complex.
We've talked a lot about the BBC and the way it operates in Wales. It is the major player in the media market in Wales, but one of the points I wanted to explore with you is this—and I raised it in the previous session: is the best approach to what we're trying to do regulation or resources, or is it a mixture of both? We want to ensure the people of Wales get the news that's relevant to them, that they get programming that's relevant to them, and, as you rightly pointed out, that Wales has a far stronger voice when it comes to decisions, particularly in the BBC. The point of this inquiry is to look at the devolution of broadcasting. There are limits to it with new entrants into the market like Amazon, like Netflix. If we talk about the regulation of broadcasting, are we trying to employ a 1970s approach to what is a twenty-first century media market? You made the point that if we have the power, we don't have to use it, but it begs the question, then, 'Well, if you're not going to use it, what's the point of having it?' There may be advantages—by all means tell me what they might be. So, regulation, resources, or a mixture?
I think, and, again, I suppose I'd go back to the point that I think regulation might be an issue in certain circumstances; I think it would be used in limited ways because of the complexities that you've discussed. But, for me, it's more about the Welsh Government having a say in issues that clearly affect it where decisions are taken by central Government, because—. And it's less an issue of regulation than an issue of decisions being made about—. And here, I'm really talking about the BBC because that's the primary issue here and it's very topical. It's not likely to be on the cards, but suppose a government came to power that just decided, 'We're going to get rid of the BBC'—I mean, nobody's saying that that's going to happen, but potentially, in theory, it could—and if the governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland said, 'No, actually, we don't think that's necessarily a good idea. We have to reach a consensual decision about the future of the BBC between the devolved governments', then I think that's a much more rational way of decision making than the current situation. And I can't see any way to get that other than devolving broadcasting.
So, I guess, for me, the prize here is not being able to suddenly regulate in all kinds of ways that would be complex and difficult. It's having a very clear Welsh voice that is listened to and has to be listened to in central Government decisions about UK-wide broadcasters, because, at the moment, all of that power rests in London about all of these areas and Wales can be completely ignored. So, devolution is a potential route to that. It doesn't guarantee it, but it's a potential route to it. It's a legally complex area. If there was another route to it, I could see that also being a useful way forward, but, at this point, devolution looks like the most obvious legal route to that.
So, it seems to me what you're talking about is that you're not advocating a separate Welsh broadcasting corporation, if I can put it that way. There are many risks, let alone the fact that in London, they'd say, 'Well, that's all covered in Wales now', and we'd get no cover at all.
Absolutely. I'd be opposed to that.
Would I be going too far suggesting that you're intimating at a federal BBC? Something more—I don't want to put words in your mouth, but something less centralised, then, than we see now.
I think, actually, yes. I think that would be a good model, and, actually, it speaks to a point I made earlier, which is that I do worry about the role that Government plays in setting the level of the licence fee, because I think that compromises the independence of the BBC. But if the future of the BBC has to depend upon agreement of a number of different devolved Governments around the UK, then, actually, I think that that's going to lead to more compromise, it's going to lead to a more stable environment, where the BBC doesn't have to think, 'Well, I need to be worried about these people, but I know there's going to be general discussions—there are lots of different interests coming to bear.' I think that's a much healthier environment, actually, and might be a more pragmatic way forward than—. I can't really see any other sorts of possibilities, in terms of adjusting the way the licence fee is set. That strikes me as quite practical, as a way forward, that would create far more stability around the BBC licence fee. It would give Wales a voice, but it would also allow us to move, I think, towards a kind of much more rational decision-making that gives the BBC more independence than it currently has.
So, a stronger Welsh voice, perhaps with the ability—. You said the voice must be heard.
If it came to it, yes, that would have to be part of it.
There would be a board meeting where there would have to be agreement across UK, rather than current—
Yes, and that's probably—
[Inaudible.]—the BBC, the board does look, seek to represent the 'nations and regions', as they call it, but—.
Well, the BBC board does, but decisions about the licence fee—there's no such requirement. So, that, for me, is the crucial issue. The BBC board, I think, does have Welsh representation on it. Actually, at this particular moment, it has quite strong Welsh representation on it. So, for me, that's less the issue. And I absolutely agree with your intimation that what I wouldn't want to see is a separate BBC Wales that's not connected to the rest of the BBC. I think BBC Wales is in a strong and advantageous position because it can put things on network, and we've seen huge success in recent years of BBC drama being networked, which has been hugely beneficial for everybody concerned. So, I absolutely wouldn't want to see that. It's much more about Wales having a voice in those things.
Now, what would be the practical implication of that, if Wales did have a veto? Well, probably, actually, it would mean that things wouldn't change very much, truthfully. Would that be a terrible thing? Personally, I think probably no. I think that the existence of the BBC is part of the strength of British broadcasting, and Welsh broadcasting, so I think that it's in all our interests for that to continue.
Thank you. Over to somebody who always likes to hear the word 'federal'—David Melding. But perhaps not in this context.
I do want to clarify the point you made in response to Carwyn's question. Do you believe that this model would end up with the veto provision, or would it be a robust but lesser power like—that due regard would have to be paid to Welsh opinion, then?
So, what, in terms of decisions about the BBC?
Well, at the minute, it seems that unless you have a consensus over broadcasting decisions for UK decisions to be made, then they can't be made, so there is in effect a veto in Wales and Scotland. The model, obviously, is the weak model you've already talked about, just consultation, but there is a middle-to-upper option of due regard having to be given to the devolved administrations.
I worry about 'due regard'. I think—.
Yes, I suppose what I—. From my perspective, if there were another way of guaranteeing a Welsh voice in decisions about the future of the BBC that did not involve devolution, I think that would be really worth looking at seriously. For me, the biggest prize and the biggest stakes here, in terms of this whole question of devolution, is to do with the future of the BBC. So, if there were another way of doing that, through some kind of other legal structure, I think that would be seriously worth considering. I guess one of the reasons why I think, at the moment, I would be a voice in favour of devolution is because I see that as a way of getting to that point. But I'm not in any way dogmatic about that; I think that we'd have to be pragmatic about it. But this seems to be a practical route to that outcome. I guess I would like to see slightly more than due regard. I think due regard—. Something that has kind of legal weight, which means that if the Welsh Government said, 'We think it's a terrible decision to move to subscription rather than license fee', then, actually, it’s very difficult to then just say, 'Well, we're going to do it anyway.'
And then, do you see any enhanced role for the Assembly, and indeed the Welsh Government, in the accountability of the BBC in its Welsh operations, or would your model be much more still centred in London in terms of decision making, but with this mechanism of co-decisions with the devolved Governments?
It's a good question, and I think, again, it speaks to—. It's a difficult one, because I don't think—. I want to resist anything that increases Government pressure on the BBC in terms of content provision in a way that might jeopardise its impartiality. So, I think we need to be careful about that. But I do think that the current—. The discussion that we had at the beginning about the way in which the BBC covers, in network terms, devolution—. I'm not sure that that has worked, despite the King report and despite four separate inquiries that I was involved in—studies around the coverage of network broadcasting. The BBC has improved a little in that area, but I still think they're box ticking, to be honest. They'll say, 'Well, we said "England" once in a report so that's our job done.' I think they need more pressure to go further on that, and while some of that pressure does come from BBC Wales—Rhodri Talfan would, I think, very much agree with this—it's not always heard. If there's a way of that voice being heard a bit more forcefully, perhaps there's a role here. But I think it needs to be played very carefully, because I think Welsh Government should not be influencing issues to do with impartiality, it should be purely about representation and accuracy. And I think there are issues to do with accuracy here, because if people are imagining that the health service is entirely run out of Westminster, then that's inaccurate. So, I think it is a complex area, but I do think, potentially, Welsh Government has a role to play here.
Others have gone much further in terms of reforming, really, how we handle broadcasting and have said that there should be Welsh management of the spectrum. Now, I know you don't favour this, but are there any particular problems you see in that approach, beyond it being a choice you don't fully agree with? Are there dangers in the Welsh management of this?
I'm not sure I would disagree with that, I just think it would be good if such power was used carefully. The key, I guess, is that any such power would not be used in a way that disadvantaged the growth of what is actually, in terms of screen production, a pretty healthy sector—a very healthy sector in Wales. So, I guess that would be the only caveat I'll put on it. I wouldn't call myself opposed to that, particularly. I just think it's something we'd need to look at carefully and not rush into and assume that this then means divergence. It may not mean divergence.
Would it not require regulatory divergence and management? We've heard that strongly from other witnesses—well, at least one witness has argued that that would be necessary, then.
I think there are arguments in favour and against that. I guess, at this point, I'd kind of want to look at the arguments for and against. I wouldn't necessarily have a strong position in favour or against that.
I think we've given, Cadeirydd, issues around devolution a fairly good airing already, but I just wonder whether you see any specific arguments and issues in terms of devolution and S4C as a broadcaster, given its unique role and unique significance in Wales? I mean, separate from the general picture around devolution and accountability and voice, is there anything specific you would like to suggest with regard to S4C?
Well, I know historically, to be candid, that there has always been a worry that, if you have devolution of broadcasting, that then means that the Welsh Government has to fund S4C, and there's always been a concern about that. Because the question then is: who pays for that? That is essentially the shifting of a burden towards Welsh Government, which I understand. I think that the worries about that, to be honest, have been diminished somewhat because of the BBC's requirement now to pick up the tab for that. So I don't actually think that's a concern in the way that it was. So I think as a block on why we would support devolution in Wales, that block has now been removed. So I don't see that as an issue.
Again, I suppose it comes back—joining the dots here, given the BBC's role in funding S4C, it's therefore important that Wales has a strong voice in decisions about the BBC. So I think that all of those things become connected. But I think concerns about the future of—. And that actually allows a stronger voice to be heard about concerns about the future of S4C, because at the moment, the BBC could decide that it wants to reduce funding for S4C, with less pressure being put on it. So actually, I think that things have shifted dramatically.
When S4C was funded out of central government, the picture was very different than now. So I think there's a block that's been removed on the barrier towards arguments in favour of devolution.
Thank you. Just one further question from me. In response to some of my colleagues, you've raised an argument for devolution potentially being to have a Welsh voice around the table when big decisions, and particularly decisions regarding the licence fee, are being made. I'm sure you're aware that the House of Lords committee has recommended an independent licence fee commission. You did also say that if there were alternatives to devolution that would ensure that strong Welsh voice in these big decisions, you might be interested in exploring those. Would an independent licence fee commission with a strong presence from the devolved nations and regions—would that be part of the way to address some of those issues?
It could be, and actually I think you could see that being quite a clever model, which both addressed issues about Wales and representation, but also addressed the independence of the licence fee. So, that could be a way forward, yes. As I say, my position on devolution, being broadly in favour, is a pragmatic one, based on current arrangements. But it seems to me there are other possibilities and other structures that could exist that would get to that same point, and that could be one of them, yes.
Thank you. If there are no further questions from my colleagues, I'd just like to thank you very much indeed for your written evidence and the evidence that you've presented to us today. We will obviously share, as you know, a transcript with you, so that you can check that for accuracy, but I'd also add that, as this process goes on, if you're hearing other people's testimonies and you think, 'I'd like to contribute to that', or argue for or against that position, if you want to provide us with any additional written information as the process proceeds, you're very welcome to do so. So, thank you very much. Diolch yn fawr.
So, with Members' consent, I'm going to suggest that we adjourn for five minutes, just so that people can grab a cup of tea, and to give us a short break.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:48 a 10:54.
The meeting adjourned between 10:48 and 10:54.
Bore da eto, bawb. Dŷn ni'n symud nôl i mewn i sesiwn cyhoeddus. A gaf i groesawu yn gynnes iawn ein tri tyst newydd, Heledd Gwyndaf, Aled Powell a Colin Nosworthy o Gymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg? Diolch yn fawr iawn ichi am ddod i siarad â ni a diolch yn fawr hefyd am eich tystiolaeth ysgrifenedig. So, gyda hynny o ragymadrodd, awn ni'n syth i mewn i gwestiynau, yn dechrau gyda fi. So, sut dŷch chi'n gweld y ddarpariaeth newyddion a materion cyfoes sydd ar gael i gynulleidfaoedd yng Nghymru?
Good morning once again, everyone. We move into public session once again. May I welcome very warmly our three new witnesses, Heledd Gwyndaf, Aled Powell and Colin Nosworthy from Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg? Thank you very much to the three of you for coming to speak to us and thank you very much also for your written evidence. So, with those few words of introduction, we'll go straight into our questions, and I have the first question. How do you perceive the provision of news and current affairs for Welsh audiences?
Efallai petaswn i'n dechrau gyda siaradwyr Cymraeg, wrth gwrs, mae gyda ni ond y BBC, ac mae'r BBC yn ei hanfod, wrth gwrs, wedi cael ei leoli yn Lloegr, yn gorff Prydeinig. Rŷn ni'n gweld—mae'n hollol amlwg wrth y newyddion ei fod e'n dod o Lundain. Dŷn ni ddim yn gweld ei fod e'n ffenest yn adlewyrchu ein dyheadau ni yng Nghymru. Felly dyna o ran y Gymraeg, wrth gwrs, achos S4C a hefyd Radio Cymru—dyna'r unig ffynonellau gwybodaeth o ran newyddion.
Yn Saesneg, yr un peth mewn gwirionedd, mae'r BBC ac ITV i raddau hefyd. Felly, mae'n hollol annigonol. Does dim plwraliaeth, lluosogrwydd. Dyw pobl yng Nghymru ddim yn gwybod ble mae penderfyniadau yn cael eu gwneud. Dŷn nhw ddim yn gwybod ble mae dwyn dylanwad, dim dim ond ar y newyddion wrth gwrs, ond yn gyffredinol. Os ŷch chi'n gwrando ar Radio Cymru a'ch bod chi ddim yn hoffi rhaglen, neu fod y rhaglen ddim i chi, does dim unman gyda chi i fynd, heblaw, dywedwch, eich bod chi'n hoffi'r fath o raglenni sydd ar Radio 4 ac maen nhw'n trafod pethau sy'n ymwneud â Lloegr. Dyw hynny ddim yn cael ei bwyntio mas.
Felly, rŷn ni'n gweld bod hwn yn rhan o'r angen i ddatganoli. Dydy pobl ddim yn gwybod bod y gwasanaeth iechyd wedi cael ei ddatganoli ac mae hyn yn broblem enfawr o ran democratiaeth yng Nghymru. Felly, mae'n hollbwysig mai'r peth cyntaf sy'n cael ei wneud yw bod datganoli rheoleiddio er mwyn ateb hyn.
Hon yw'r sefyllfa nawr ers degawdau a degawdau. Dyw hi ddim wedi cael—mae rhywun o Ofcom yn eistedd ar fwrdd Lloegr o Gymru. Mae'n amlwg bod hynny ddim wedi gwneud unrhyw wahaniaeth. Yr unig ateb yw datganoli grymoedd darlledu gan ddechrau â rheoleiddio. Wedyn, gallwn ni ddechrau edrych ar sut mae gwybodaeth yn cael ei chyflwyno i bobl Cymru ac felly ymrymuso ac ymbweru pobl Cymru i ymwneud â gwleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru a'r hyn sy'n effeithio pobl yng Nghymru.
Perhaps if I could start with the provision for Welsh speakers, of course. We only have the BBC, and the BBC essentially is located in England, it is a UK body. We see, and it's quite clear from the news, that it emerges from London. We don't see it as being a window that reflects our aspirations here in Wales. And that's from the point of view of the Welsh language, because S4C and also Radio Cymru—they're the only sources of information in terms of news.
Now, through the medium of English, the same is true, essentially. You have the BBC and ITV, to a certain extent, too. So, it's entirely inadequate. There is no plurality. People in Wales don't know where decisions are made. They don't know how to bring influence to bear, not just in news, but more generally too. If you listen to Radio Cymru and you don't like a particular programme, or if it's not to your taste, then you have nowhere to go, unless you enjoy the kind of provision that's on Radio 4, and they discuss English issues. That isn't pointed out.
So, we believe that this reflects the need to devolve. People don't know that health is devolved, and this is a huge problem in terms of our democracy here in Wales. Therefore, it's crucially important that the first thing that is done is that we devolve regulation in order to resolve the situation.
This has been the position now over a period of many decades. We have someone from Ofcom representing Wales on the board in England. Clearly, that's made no difference at all. The only answer is to devolve powers over broadcasting, starting with regulation, and then we can start to look at how information is provided to the people of Wales and, therefore, empower the people of Wales to become involved with politics in Wales and what has an impact on people's lives in Wales.
Diolch. Aled neu Colin, ydych chi eisiau ychwanegu? Mae'n safbwynt eithaf clir, rwy'n credu.
Thank you. Aled or Colin, do you want to add something? That point of view had been expressed clearly.
Mae degau o filoedd o gartrefi yng Nghymru, yn ôl adroddiad Ofcom sydd yn methu hyd yn oed derbyn signal Cymreig o ran y teledu, ac rydyn ni'n gwybod bod yna black spots signal radio Cymreig, boed o BBC Cymru neu BBC Wales hefyd. So, mae yna fethiant ar draws Cymru mewn nifer sylweddol o gartrefi i dderbyn y newyddion sydd yn cael ei ddarlledu ar gyfer Cymru. Mae hynna yn amlwg yn cael effaith niweidiol ar yr ochr ddemocrataidd yn enwedig; eu bod nhw, pan fo'r etholiadau'n dod o gwmpas, ddim yn gwybod beth sy'n digwydd yma yn y bae.
Ac mae'n ddiddorol, er bod y diffyg democratiaeth yna yn bodoli a bod pawb yn ei gydnabod o, mae'r BBC, er enghraifft, yn buddsoddi cannoedd o filiynau o bunnoedd ar rywbeth fel y World Service mewn dwsinau o ieithoedd ar draws y byd, ac maen nhw'n cyfiawnhau hynny trwy ddweud bod yna ddiffyg democratiaeth yn y llefydd yma. So, mae'n rhaid inni fynd i'r afael â'r fath ddiffyg yma yng Nghymru, ac mae eisiau inni gymryd y rheolaeth a gwneud y penderfyniad dros hynny yma.
There are tens of thousands of homes in Wales, according to an Ofcom report, that can't even receive a signal from Wales in terms of television, and we know that there are radio signal black spots in Wales, be that for BBC Wales or BBC Cymru. So, there is a failure across Wales for a number of homes to receive news that is broadcast for Wales. That clearly has a damaging impact in terms of democracy, in particular. When elections arise, people don't know what's happening down here in the bay.
Interestingly, even though the democratic deficit exists, and everyone acknowledges that, you have the BBC, for example, investing hundreds of millions of pounds in something such as the World Service in dozens of languages worldwide, and they justify that by saying,'Well, there is a democratic deficit in those countries.' So, we do have to get to grips with that kind of deficit in Wales. We need to take control of regulation and make decisions in that regard.
Buaswn i'n mynd yn bellach na beth oedd Heledd yn ei ddweud. Rwy'n meddwl ei fod e'n fygythiad real i ddemocratiaeth yng Nghymru os nad yw pwerau dros ddarlledu yn cael eu datganoli. Dwi'n meddwl bod y diffyg gwybodaeth ynglŷn â phwy sy'n gwneud y penderfyniad mor ddifrifol eich bod chi mewn perygl o fygwth bodolaeth democratiaeth yng Nghymru. A dwi'n meddwl ei fod e'n bwysig cofio, o'r 1950au pan sefydlwyd yr ymgyrch dros Senedd i Gymru, bod darlledu yn un o'r meysydd roedden nhw'n dadlau dros ddatganoli. Felly, dyw e ddim yn rhywbeth newydd; roedd e'n cael ei weld o gychwyn yr ymgyrch, gyda phobl, a Cledwyn Hughes ac S.O. Davies yn eu plith, yn dadlau dros ddatganoli darlledu fel rhan naturiol o'r setliad datganoli.
I would go further than Heledd. I think it's a very real threat to democracy in Wales if powers for broadcasting are not devolved. I think the lack of information as to who makes the decisions is so serious that you're putting the future of democracy at risk here in Wales. I do think it's important to bear in mind that from the 1950s, when the campaign for a Welsh Parliament was established, that broadcasting was one of those areas where they made a case for devolution. So, it's nothing new; it's been part of the campaign from the very beginning. Cledwyn Hughes and S.O. Davies were arguing for the devolution of broadcasting as part of the natural devolution settlement.
Can I ask you about your views on the issue of regulation, because the devolution of broadcasting would mean regulatory powers coming to Wales in respect of broadcasting within Wales? But we've heard evidence that there are significant issues. One issue is in terms of the potential impact that might have on commercial broadcasting and then the second aspect is, really, the impact that might have in terms of resources. From the figures we have from the licence fee, Wales is a net beneficiary in terms of the global amount that is received. What are the advantages of regulation and what do you see as being the disadvantages?
Felly, commercial broadcasting, ar hyn o bryd tasem ni'n edrych ar ddarlledu masnachol, mae e'n fygythiad mawr ar hyn o bryd. Er enghraifft, tasem ni'n edrych ar ein sianeli radio ni, mae Ceredigion yn enghraifft amlwg; mae wedi'i grisialu yng Ngheredigion, achos mae fy nghenhedlaeth i yn cofio Radio Ceredigion fel y dylai fe fod—radio lleol yng ngwir ystyr y gair. Ac o achos rheoleiddio Ofcom, mae hynny wedi cael ei adael i fynd rhwng y cŵn a'r brain, a dyw e ddim yn lleol o gwbl, yn enw masnach. Nawr, y math o reoleiddio y gallai Cyngor Cyfathrebu Cenedlaethol yng Nghymru fod yn ei wneud yw, 'Na, mae'n rhaid bod hyn a hyn o Gymraeg ynddo fe yng Ngheredigion, mae'n rhaid bod hyn a hyn ohono fe'n cael ei gynhyrchu yn lleol.' Felly, y bygythiad masnachol yw'r bygythiad. Dim datganoli yw'r bygythiad. Datganoli a chreu rheoleiddio ein hunain fydd yr achubiad, achos does dim pwynt iddo fe ar hyn o bryd o gwbl gael ei alw'n radio lleol pan mae'n cael ei gynhyrchu yn Llundain.
Dyw Ofcom ddim yn gwrando. Ugain mlynedd yn ôl, roeddem yn brwydro. Amser y cafodd y drwydded ei newid, mi wnaethom ni ymgyrchu. Fe gawsom ni'n arestio, criw o bobl y Gymdeithas, a daeth dim byd ohono fe achos dyw e ddim yn bwysig i Ofcom o gwbl. Dydyn nhw ddim yn ei ddeall e. Nawr, byddai Cyngor Cyfathrebu Cenedlaethol yng Nghymru, gyda dyheadau ac anghenion pobl Cymru mewn golwg, yn gallu rheoleiddio rhywbeth syml ofnadwy i arbed pobl Cymru, i warchod pobl Cymru yn erbyn cwmnïau masnachol fel hynny.
In terms of commercial broadcasting, at the moment if we were to look at commercial broadcasting, it's a huge threat at the moment. If we looked at our radio channels, Ceredigion is a very prominent example; it's encapsulated there in Ceredigion, because my generation remembers Radio Ceredigion as it should have been—local radio in the true sense of the word. And because of Ofcom regulation, that has been let go, and it's not local in any sense at all, in the name of commercial radio. Now, the kind of regulation that a body in Wales could make is to say, 'There has to a certain amount of Welsh provision in Ceredigion, a percentage would have to be produced locally.' So, the commercial is the threat, in a way. It's not devolution that's the threat. It's devolution and creating our own regulation that will be our saviour, because there's no point for it to be described as local radio when it's produced in London.
Ofcom simply isn't listening. Twenty years ago, we were fighting this case. When the licence was changed, we campaigned. We were arrested, a group of Cymdeithas members were arrested, and nothing came of it because it isn't important to Ofcom in any sense whatsoever. They don't understand it. Now, a national communications council for Wales, with the needs and aspirations of the people of Wales in mind, could regulate something as simple as that in order to safeguard the people of Wales from these commercial developments.
Dyw e ddim yn rhan o remit Ofcom i amddiffyn y Gymraeg; maen nhw'n dweud hynny yn hollol blaen. Does ganddyn nhw ddim rôl yn amddiffyn y Gymraeg na rheoleiddio o ran y Gymraeg, felly does neb yn gwneud y gwaith yna. Felly, os ydych chi eisiau y Gymraeg i ddiflannu oddi ar yr awyr masnachol, dyna beth sydd yn digwydd a dyna beth sydd yn gynyddol yn digwydd, oherwydd does yna neb gyda phwrpas na remit i wneud hynny. Felly, dyna un maes amlwg lle mae angen rheoleiddio, a does yna ddim.
Mi fuaswn i hefyd yn dweud ynghylch y pwynt am bobl yn tynnu mas, rydym ni'n hen gyfarwydd ym maes y Gymraeg â chwmnïau mawrion yn bygwth hynny. Mewn realiti—. Ac wrth gwrs, bydden nhw yn dweud hynna achos dim ond elw sydd yn bwysig i rai pobl, ac i rai o'r pobl efallai sydd wedi rhoi tystiolaeth i chi. Fe fydden nhw yn dweud hynny, ac roedden nhw yn dweud hynny yng nghyd-destun telathrebu a darparu gwasanaethau ffôn yn Gymraeg, ac yn y blaen. Ond mae'n gyffredin iawn ar draws y byd fod yna reoliadau am ieithoedd lleiafrifol yng nghyd-destunau fel Gwlad y Basg a Catalwnia. Felly, buaswn i'n erfyn arnoch chi i beidio â gwrando ar y cyfalafwyr sydd ond yn poeni am elw, ac yn hytrach gwrando ar y 65 y cant o bobl Cymru sydd o blaid datganoli darlledu i Gymru.
It's not part of Ofcom's remit to safeguard the Welsh language; they say that very clearly. They don't have a role in safeguarding the Welsh language or regulating on its behalf, so nobody's doing that work. So, if you want the Welsh language to disappear from the airwaves in commercial terms, that's what's happening and it's happening more often these days, because nobody has a remit to safeguard the language. So, that's one area where there is a clear need for regulation, because there isn't any.
I would also say with regard to the point about people withdrawing from this sphere, we're familiar in the Welsh language field with major companies threatening to withdraw. And of course, they would say that because it's only profits that are important to some people, and to some of the people who've given evidence to you. They would say that, wouldn't they? They said it with regard to telecommunications and the provision of telephone services through the medium of Welsh. But it's very common worldwide that there are regulations in favour of minority languages in places such as the Basque Country and Catalunya. So, I would urge you not to listen to those capitalists whose only concern is profit, and instead listen to the 65 per cent of the people of Wales who are in favour of devolving broadcasting to Wales.
Ar y pwynt hwn hefyd efallai buasai gwerth dweud, achos dwi yn teimlo bod y cwestiynau a'r drafodaeth wedi bod o fewn llun o'r hyn sy'n digwydd nawr; hynny yw, datganoli darlledu i Gymru, i Gaerdydd ar yr union lun â beth yw e yn Lloegr, ond yng Nghymru. Ond rydym ni'n meddwl y dylem ni fod yn lot mwy uchelgeisiol na hynny, y dylem ni fod yn edrych ar y llun ehangach, yn edrych ar y dyfodol a sut mae darlledu wedi symud yn ei flaen; yn lle treial dala lan, edrych ymlaen, edrych yn lot mwy lleol, edrych i rymuso pobl yn lleol, arfogi pobl i allu creu cynnwys eu hunain, achos dyna'r ffordd rŷm ni'n mynd, wrth gwrs, ac edrych mewn ffordd wahanol ar ddarlledu yn hytrach na jest edrych ar y llun—. Rwy'n gwybod, weithiau, mae'n anodd gwneud hynny achos rŷm ni i gyd wedi bod yn teithio y ffordd fel y mae hi—rŷm ni i gyd wedi arfer â'r ffordd fel y mae hi—ond buaswn i'n gofyn, er enghraifft, yr endid creu cynnwys sydd gennym ni. Mae yna ddiffyg cynnwys difrifol ar y we yn Gymraeg. Wel, beth sydd angen ei wneud, wrth gwrs, mae pobl yn gallu creu pethau o'u hystafelloedd gwely, a dyna sy'n digwydd, ond efallai bod angen offer, efallai bod angen arweiniad, a gallai hyn fod yn tyfu yn aruthrol ar gost fach ofnadwy.
Roeddech chi'n dweud am adnoddau. Yr adnodd mwyaf sydd gyda ni yw egni a chreadigrwydd, ond ein bod ni'n creu cyfleoedd i bobl, a galluogi pobl i wneud hynny. O ran adnoddau, wrth gwrs, o ran adnoddau ariannol, mae gennym ni dabl yn y dystiolaeth rŷn ni wedi ei rhoi. Nawr, mae hwnna wedi cael ei weithio—. Rŷn ni ar ryw drydydd drafft o'r papur trafod hwnnw; papur trafod yw e ac mae yna arbenigwyr yn y maes wedi gweithio ar y peth. Ond dwi'n teimlo efallai ein bod ni wedi bod jest yn edrych ar y llun fel mae e nawr, yn lle edrych yn hollol greadigol. Hynny yw, mae yna lai o arian yn cael ei roi, mae'n debyg, neu rywbeth tebyg, i Wlad y Basg, ac mae gyda nhw chwech sianel. Wel, beth rŷn ni'n neud yn anghywir? Mae yna rhywbeth yn anghywir am y peth. Dim bo fi'n dadlau dros lai o arian, ond nid dyna'r unig adnodd y dylen ni fod yn cyfeirio ato, achos mae yn cael ei ddefnyddio fel rhywbeth 'O, beth amboutu'r adnoddau? Beth amboutu popeth rŷn ni'n cael?' Wel, beth ŷn ni'n cael?
There's a point that deserves to be made here, because I do think that the questions and the debate have been within the context of what's happening now; that is, it's the devolution of broadcasting to Wales, to Cardiff on exactly the same model as currently exists in England, but in Wales. But we should be a lot more ambitious than that; we should look at the broader picture and look at how broadcasting has developed; rather than trying to catch up, we should look forward, look more locally, empower people at a local level to create their own content because that's the direction of travel, of course, and look at this in a different way rather than simply looking at the current model. I know it's difficult to do that on occasion, because we've all been on the same journey and we've all become used to the status quo. But I would ask the content creation agency. There is a serious lack of content online through the medium of Welsh. Well, what needs to be done, of course, is that people can produce content in their bedrooms, and that's what happens, but perhaps they need equipment, perhaps they need guidance, and this could grow exponentially at a very low cost.
You mentioned resources. I would argue that the greatest resource that we have is the energy and creativity that we have, but we need to provide opportunities for people, and allow people to be involved. In terms of resources, in terms of financial resources, we do have a table in the written evidence that we have provided. Now, that's a third draft of that discussion paper; there have been experts in the area who have worked on that. But I feel that perhaps we have just been looking at the status quo there, rather than looking at it creatively. There is less money provided, or something similar is provided in the Basque Country, but they have six channels. So, what are we doing wrong? There is something wrong. Not that I'm arguing for a reduction in funding, but that isn't the only resource that we should be referring to, because it is used as 'Well, what about resources? What about everything that's available to us?' But what are we receiving?
Mae'n rhaid i fi gofyn i chi drio—. Mae cymaint i ddweud.
I have to ask you to try—. There is so much to say.
Sori. A alla i jest ddweud amboutu'r BBC?
Sorry. Can I just say about the BBC?
'Beth ŷn ni'n cael wrth y BBC?', mae'n rhaid i ni ofyn. Rŷn ni'n cael newyddion yn ddyddiol o beth sy'n digwydd gyda'r Blaid Ddemocrataidd yn America. Hynny yw, dŷn ni ddim yn cael beth sy'n digwydd yn etholiadau Ewrop ddigon, er enghraifft. Ife dyna beth rŷn ni fel Cymry yn moyn? Hynny yw, beth rwy'n dadlau, rwy'n credu, beth rwy'n trio ei ddweud yw bod eisiau i ni ailedrych ar y llun i gyd, nid edrych ar beth sydd orau i'r BBC, sut mae'r BBC, ond beth mae pobl Cymru yn moyn a beth ŷn ni ei angen, a dechrau o fynna, nid dechrau o beth sydd gyda ni.
'What do we get from the BBC?', we must ask. We get news on a daily basis and it's coverage of what's happening with the Democratic Party in the USA. That is, we don't hear enough about what's happening in European elections, for example. Is that what we in Wales want? I think what I'm trying to say is that we need to look at the picture anew, not just look at what's good for the BBC, but what the people of Wales want and need, and start there, not looking at it from the point of view of the status quo.
Ie. Jest i atgoffa fy nghyd-Aelodau a'r tystion bod ein hamser ni yn brin.
Just to remind my fellow Members and witnesses that we are short of time.
Na, na, mae cymaint i'w ddweud, ac mae'n bwysig iawn, iawn, ein bod ni'n clywed oddi wrthych chi, ond dwi eisiau sicrhau ein bod ni'n mynd trwy'r cwestiynau i gyd, fel eich bod chi'n gallu ymateb i rai o'r pwyntiau sydd wedi codi o'r papur dŷch chi wedi'i gyflwyno i ni yn barod.
There is so much to say, I know, and it's very important that we do hear from you, of course, but I do want to ensure that we do cover all of the questions, so that you can respond to some of the points that have arisen from the paper that you've already presented.
Diolch, Gadeirydd. A dwi ddim yn anghytuno â llawer o beth rydych chi wedi dweud ynglŷn â'r problemau. Mae fe'n broblem bod pobl yng Nghymru ddim yn cael y newyddion maen nhw'n ei haeddu. Rŷn ni'n gweld hwnna, wrth gwrs, ynglŷn â'r wasg; rŷn ni'n gweld yna o achos y ffaith bod cymaint o bobl, y rhan fwyaf o bobl, yn darllen papurau newydd o Loegr; ac, wrth gwrs, gallwn ni byth ddweud bod y ddarpariaeth o newyddion o'r BBC yn berffaith ychwaith ar lefel Brydeinig.
I fi, rwy'n credu bod y broblem wedi cael ei hystyried, ond y peth yw, ym mha ffordd ydyn ni'n gallu datrys y broblem. Un o'r problemau, wrth gwrs, gyda'r sector masnachol yw y gallwch chi ddweud wrthyn nhw, 'Mae'n rhaid i chi sicrhau bod gennych chi hyn a hyn o'ch rhaglenni yn Gymraeg', a gallan nhw ddweud 'Wel, dyna fe, ni'n mynd te, os nad oes adnoddau'n dod hefyd.' Ac, i fi, beth dwi'n reslo gyda ar hyn o bryd, wrth gofio ei bod hi'n hollol bosib i bobl ddarlledu ar-lein, ac mae hwnna'n anodd dros ben i'w reoleiddio, yw: ydyn ni'n siarad yn wir am reoleiddio? A fyddai hwnna'n rhywbeth effeithiol? Ym mha ffordd gallai fe fod yn effeithiol mewn ffordd ymarferol? Dyna'r cwestiwn agored rwy'n gofyn.
Yn ail, a ydyn ni'n siarad ynglŷn â'r ffaith bod eisiau mwy o adnoddau? Dwi'n siŵr mai'r ateb i hwnna yw 'ydyn.' Ond ai adnoddau yw'r ateb? Dweud wrth bobl, 'Ni'n moyn i chi sicrhau eich bod chi'n darlledu 50 y cant'—i roi enghraifft—'yn Gymraeg, a dyma'r adnoddau er mwyn sicrhau eich bod chi'n gallu ei wneud e', neu ydyn ni'n siarad am ryw fath o gymysgedd?
Thank you, Chair. And I don't disagree with a great deal of what you've said about the issues. It is a problem that people in Wales don't receive the news that they deserve. We see that in terms of the press; we see it because of the fact that so many people, most people, read newspapers from England; and, of course, one can never say that the provision of news from the BBC is perfect either on the UK level.
But, for me, I think the problem has been considered, but it needs to be considered in terms of how we can solve the problem. One of the problems with the commercial sector, of course, is that you can tell them, 'Well, you have to ensure that you produce such and such a number of your programmes in Welsh', and they can say, 'Well, there we are, we're going then, unless we have the resources as well.' And what I'm wrestling with at the moment, remembering that it's possible for people to broadcast online, and that's very difficult to regulate, is: are we really talking about regulation here? Would that be effective? How could it be effective in practical terms? That's the very open-ended question that I'm asking.
Secondly, are we talking about the fact that more resources are needed? I'm sure that the answer to that is 'yes.' But are resources the answer? Telling people, 'Well, we want you to ensure that you broadcast 50 per cent'—for example— 'through the medium of Welsh, and these are the resources for that to ensure that you do it', or are we talking about a mixture of those things?
Does dim eisiau mwy o adnoddau.
You don't need more resources.
Y broblem sydd gyda fi ar hyn o bryd yw—a fi'n mynd i gwpla mewn munud—dwi ddim yn glir ynglŷn ag ym mha ffordd byddai rheoleiddio yn gweithio. Er taw egwyddor yw e, a dwi'n gweld yr egwyddor, ym mha ffordd byddai'n gweithio, ac yn enwedig sut byddai'n gweithio heb adnoddau ychwanegol er mwyn sicrhau bod beth rŷn ni eisiau ei weld yn digwydd?
The problem that I have at the moment—I'm going to finish in a minute, I promise—is that it's not clear in what way regulation would work. Even though it's a principle and I see the principle, how would it work, and especially how would it work without additional resources to ensure that what we want to see happens?
Ie, dwi ddim yn gweld bod angen unrhyw adnoddau ychwanegol er mwyn, er enghraifft, creu 50 y cant mwy o raglenni. Ac un peth dwi ddim yn deall yw'r ofn yma y bydd y cwmnïau masnachol yn dweud, 'Ni'n mynd te.' Mae jest yn creu bwlch i beth ni angen. Hynny yw, dyna beth yw pwynt rheoleiddio: dweud beth sy'n bwysig i genedl a'i phobl. A rheoleiddio, dyna fel mae ym mhob maes.
I don't see that any additional resources are required to provide, for example, 50 per cent more programmes. One thing I don't understand is this fear that these commercial companies will pick up and leave. It just creates a gap for what we actually need. That's the point of regulation: to say what's important to a nation and its people. In terms of regulation, that's how it is in all areas.
Buaswn i'n rhoi dwy enghraifft o ran sut y gellid rheoleiddio yn rhesymol, lle fyddai yna ddim bygythiad o'r fath. Dwi'n meddwl bod y pwyllgor yma wedi trafod newyddion cenedlaethol Cymreig ar radio masnachol, a dwi'n gwybod bod pwyllgor ymgynghorol Ofcom yng Nghymru wedi dweud wrth Ofcom, 'Dylech chi wneud hyn', ac roedd y pwyllgor hefyd wedi ategu, ond doedden nhw ddim wedi gwrando ar hynny. Gofyniad bach iawn yw gofyn i radios masnachol i gynnwys newyddion cenedlaethol Cymreig. Does dim gofyniad o'r fath o beth dwi'n ei ddeall. Dwi yn meddwl ei fod yn gyfuniad o'r pethau yr oeddech chi'n cyfeirio atyn nhw mewn rhai cyd-destunau, dwi'n meddwl. Ond dwi'n meddwl bod yna enghreifftiau o reoleiddio hollol rhesymol, fel y soniodd y tyst o Brifysgol Caerdydd, lle na fyddai angen, fel yr oedd Heledd yn ei ddweud, adnoddau ychwanegol i wneud rhai o'r pethau hynny. Fel y mae'r pwyllgor yma wedi'i ddweud o'r blaen o ran bod angen newyddion cenedlaethol Cymreig ar radio masnachol, dyw e ddim yn gofyn lot, os ydych chi'n mynd i ddarlledu yng Nghymru, i wneud hynny.
Ac, yn yr un ffordd, buaswn i'n dadlau, o ran y Gymraeg, bod hwnna'r un peth, onid yw e? I fod yn hollol glir, dyw'r Gymraeg ddim yn rhan o remit Ofcom. Dŷn nhw ddim yn cymryd cyfrifoldeb. Does neb yn cymryd cyfrifoldeb dros sicrhau bod y 50 y cant, neu beth bynnag yw'r canran, yn y Gymraeg.
O ran yr adnoddau, dwi hefyd yn meddwl ei fod yn werth edrych ar beth ddigwyddodd gyda trwydded UTV yng Ngogledd Iwerddon, o ran pan wnaethon nhw fygwth tynnu mas. Mewn gwirionedd, roedd yn werth lot, lot mwy iddyn nhw nag oedden nhw yn ei ddatgelu. Mae'n werth edrych ar hynny fel enghraifft, achos, wrth gwrs, mae yna reoliadau ITV Cymru o ran faint y maen nhw i fod i ddarparu. Mae yna wastad dadl ynglŷn â, 'Wel, fe wnawn ni dynnu mas os ydych yn gosod gormod arnom ni.' Ond, wrth gwrs, mae hwnnw'n rhan naturiol o unrhyw gyfundrefn; dyw e ddim yn ddadl yn erbyn datganoli rheoleiddio i Gymru, buaswn i'n dadlau.
Well, I would give two examples of how there could be reasonable regulation, so that there wouldn't be a threat of that kind. I think this committee has discussed national Welsh news on commercial radio, and I know that the Ofcom advisory committee in Wales had told Ofcom, 'Well, you should do this', and the committee had also endorsed that message, but they didn't listen to that. It was a very small requirement to ask commercial radio to include national Welsh news. There is no such requirement as I understand it. I think it's a combination of the things that you mentioned in some contexts, I think. But there are some examples of reasonable regulation, as the witness from Cardiff University mentioned, where, as Heledd said, it wouldn't require additional resources to do some of those things. As this committee has said before that we need national news on commercial radio, it isn't asking much, if you broadcast in Wales, to do that.
And, by the same token, I would argue, with regard to the Welsh language, that that should be a consideration as well. To be entirely clear, the Welsh language isn't part of Ofcom's remit. They don't take responsibility for ensuring that that 50 per cent, or whatever the percentage is, is broadcast.
In terms of resources, I think it's important to look at what happened with the UTV licence in Northern Ireland in terms of when they threatened to withdraw. Truth be told, it was worth much more to them than they disclosed. It's worth looking at that as an example, because there are ITV Wales regulations in terms of how much they have to provide. There's always debate about, 'Well, we will withdraw if you put too onerous an expectation on us.' But, of course, that's always part of any kind of regime; it's not an argument against devolving broadcasting to Wales, I would argue.
Mae'n hollbwysig hefyd on'd yw e, bod yr adnoddau yn dod—. Os edrychwch chi, er enghraifft, ar S4C, mae'r cwestiwn o adnoddau yn un bwysig dros ben, achos mae adnoddau S4C yn eithaf sylweddol. Pe bai'r arian ddim yna, byddai i fyny i Lywodraeth Cymru. Heb drosglwyddiad o arian o Lundain, byddai'r arian ddim yna i redeg S4C ar hyn o bryd, felly, byddai'n hollbwysig—. Byddem ni ddim yn moyn bod mewn sefyllfa, er enghraifft, lle buasen nhw'n cadw'r arian yn Llundain a ni i fod i redeg S4C ac yn gorfod ffeindio'r arian. Mae hwnna jest yn trosglwyddo arian, mwy neu lai, mas o Gymru mewn ffordd.
So, mae'r cwestiwn o adnoddau yn un bwysig dros ben. Mewn egwyddor, byddai rhywun yn dadlau, 'Wel, mae gyda ni sianel sydd ddim ond yn darlledu yng Nghymru o ran tiriogaeth—mae'n ddigidol, wrth gwrs—so, felly, mae'n gwneud synnwyr i'r sianel honno, er enghraifft—.' I fi, mae'n rhaid ystyried darlledu yn y ddwy iaith, ond mae'n gwneud synnwyr efallai i sianel S4C i fod yn rhan o Lywodraeth Cymru, hynny yw, i gael ei rheoli gan Lywodraeth Cymru, ond mae'r adnoddau'n rhywbeth y mae'n rhaid i ni eu hystyried.
Mae yna ffyrdd, efallai, i fod yn fwy masnachol—ni'n gweld gwledydd eraill lle maen nhw'n gwneud hynny a gwerthu, ac mae S4C wedi bod yn llwyddiannus yn gwneud hynny. Ond dyna beth dwi'n reslo gyda ar hyn o bryd. Rwy'n gwybod y byddai problem adnoddau gyda S4C, so, ym mha ffordd ŷn ni'n datrys hwnna? Neu, oes yna ffordd i gymryd, fel y dywedodd y tyst cyn chi, y grym o reoleiddio heb orfod talu amdano fe?
It's also crucial that the resources are in place. If you look at S4C, for example, then the question of resources is hugely important because the resources of S4C are quite substantial. If that funding weren't available, it would be up to the Welsh Government to provide. Without a transfer from the UK Government, the funding wouldn't be there to run S4C at the moment, so it would be crucial—. We wouldn't want to be in a situation where, for example, they were to retain the funding in London and we were to run S4C and had to find the money. That would be more or less a transfer of funds out of Wales in a way.
So, the question of resource is very important indeed. In principle, one would argue that we have a channel that only broadcasts in Wales, in the geographical sense—but there is the digital, of course—so it makes sense for that channel, for example—. For me, we do need to consider broadcasting in both languages, but it would make sense for S4C to be a responsibility of the Welsh Government, but the resources are something that we would have to take into account.
There are ways, perhaps, of being more commercial. We see other nations where they do that, and S4C has been successful in doing that in the past. But that's what I'm wrestling with at the moment. I know that there would be a problem of resource with S4C, so how would we resolve that? Or, as an earlier witness said, is there a way of taking regulatory powers without having to pay for it?
Na, rŷm ni'n fwy na hapus i dalu amdano fe, wrth gwrs, fel pob cenedl arall gwareiddiedig yn Ewrop ac yn y byd, hynny yw, cenhedloedd sydd yn amlwg â rheolaeth dros eu darlledu eu hunain. Ond y dystiolaeth rydyn ni wedi'i rhoi yw ein bod ni'n cymryd y ffi drwydded. Os yw e wedi'i ddatganoli ac os yw Lloegr yn penderfynu bod y ffi drwydded yn dod i ben, wel, gallai Cymru, wrth gwrs, benderfynu ein bod ni ddim, a bod gyda ni ddarlledwyr cyhoeddus—dim y BBC, ond darlledwyr cyhoeddus i Gymru.
Felly, mae yna ffi drwydded ac mae'r dreth sy'n mynd, ar hyn o bryd, o bobl Cymru i redeg y DCMS ac Ofcom—y miliynau sy'n mynd at hynny—ac wedyn wrth gwrs, beth sy'n cael ei drafod yn ein papur ni, a hefyd sy'n cael ei drafod gan wledydd ar draws Ewrop, yw'r ardoll ar gwmnïau technegol, os ydych chi'n moyn ystyried pethau mwy masnachol wrth gwrs. Gellid defnyddio'r arian yna i wneud pethau eraill sydd ei hangen ar Gymru. Felly, o ran adnoddau, dyna pam mae'n hollol bosibl a dyna pam mae'n bosib i bob cenedl ar draws y byd i redeg eu lle eu hunain.
Mae yna Gyngor Cyfathrebu Cenedlaethol wedi'i sefydlu'r llynedd—symudiad sifil o achos bod dim byd yn cael ei wneud gan y Llywodraeth, achos bod yr angen yn ddybryd. Chwarae teg, mae yna arbenigwyr o wahanol feysydd wedi dod at ei gilydd i ddechrau edrych ar reoleiddio yng Nghymru. Felly, mae'n bwysig i gadw llygaid ar eu gwaith nhw, dwi'n credu, hefyd.
No, we're more than happy to pay for that, of course, as do all other civilised nations in Europe and worldwide that have control over their own broadcasting. But the evidence that we've put forward is that we take the licence fee. If it's devolved and if England decides that the licence fee should come to an end, well, Wales could decide that it doesn't here, and we would have public broadcasters—not the BBC, but public broadcasters for Wales.
So, there would be that tv licence and the tax from Wales that goes to running DCMS and Ofcom—the millions spent on that—so, we've got that as well, and then what is discussed in our paper, and also discussed in nations across Europe, is a levy on technology companies, if you want to consider those more commercial issues. You could use that resource to fund these other things that are needed in Wales. So, in terms of resources, that's why this is eminently possible and that's why other countries, worldwide, have been able to run their own affairs.
There has been a national communications council established last year. It was a civil movement, because nothing is being done by the Government and because there is that need. Experts from different areas have come together to look at regulation in Wales. So, it's important to look at their work, I think, as well.
O ran darlledwyr cyhoeddus, dŷn ni wedi cynnig yn ein papur trafod ni gwahanol fodelau a dulliau i'w hystyried. Mae yna syniadau a dulliau eraill o ariannu darlledu cyhoeddus gan wledydd ar draws y byd, gan gyfuno cyfraniadau o'r pwrs cyhoeddus neu gyfraniadau ffi drwydded gydag ychydig o ganiatáu hyn a hyn o oriau o hysbysebu hefyd. So, mae yna lwyth o wahanol bethau.
O ran adnoddau, wedyn, gyda'r sector breifat, lle mae pobl yn tanysgrifio i bethau fel Sky, Netflix a phethau, wel, mae degau o filiynau y maen nhw'n cael gennym ni yng Nghymru trwy ein tanysgrifiadau ni yn barod—dyna ydy'u hannogaeth i greu rhywfaint o gynnwys sydd ar ein cyfer ni ac yn ein cynrychioli ni. So, does dim angen ychwanegu at na chynnig mwy o adnoddau iddyn nhw na beth maen nhw'n ei gael gennym ni'n barod.
In terms of public broadcasters, we've proposed in our discussion paper, various different models and means that could be considered. There are other options, in terms of funding public broadcasting, from nations across the world. You could combine contributions from the public purse or the licence fee whilst allowing a certain amount of advertising. So, there is a whole range of options.
In terms of resources within the private sector, where people subscribe to Sky and Netflix and so on, well, they receive tens of billions of pounds from us in Wales through subscriptions already—that is their incentive to create some content for us that represents us. So, I don't think we would need to provide or offer greater resources to them than what they already receive from us.
Colin, oeddech chi'n mwyn dod i mewn ar y cwestiwn yna?
Colin, did you want to come in?
Roeddwn i jest yn mynd i ddweud, dŷn ni wedi cwrdd â Llywodraeth Cymru, a dŷn ni wedi cyflwyno ein ffigyrau. Dŷn ni wedi gwneud y gwaith y gorau y gallem ni, ac yn ffyddiog iawn bod yna fodd ariannu'r peth. Dŷn ni wedi gofyn i'r Llywodraeth gwneud ymchwil i herio ein ffigyrau ni, neu i greu ffigyrau eu hunain. Dwi'n meddwl, os dŷch chi ddim yn credu ein ffigyrau ni, ewch i wneud eich gwaith ymchwil eich hunain os oes gyda chi cwestiynau ariannol, neu gallai'r pwyllgor yma wneud hynny. Ond dŷn ni'n ffyddiog ein bod ni wedi dod lan â system sydd yn gallu ariannu, nid yn unig yr hyn sydd gyda ni, ond ehangu'r llwyfannau ac ehangu'r cynnwys nid jest o Gymru ond am Gymru, sy'n cael ei darparu trwy'r dulliau ariannol hynny.
Felly, buaswn i'n herio, mewn ffordd, Llywodraeth Cymru a'r pwyllgor: os oes gyda chi cwestiynau ariannol, mae gyda chi adnoddau i allu dod lan ag atebion. Dŷn ni wedi gwneud gwaith manwl iawn ynglŷn â ffigyrau. Dwi'n meddwl y byddai fe'n rhesymol i ddisgwyl i Lywodraeth Cymru neu chithau fel pwyllgor edrych ar sut y gellid cael y sicrwydd ariannol rydych chi'n chwilio amdano fe.
I was just going to say, we've met with Welsh Government and we've put forward our figures. We've done the work as best we can, and we are very confident that it could be funded. We've asked the Welsh Government to research any information that would challenge our findings, and if you don't believe our figures, then you should undertake your own research if you have questions to ask, or this committee could do that. But we are confident that we have come up with a system that could fund not just what we already have, but expand the platforms and expand the content not just from Wales but about Wales, that is provided through those funding streams.
So, I would challenge the Welsh Government and the committee: if you do have those financial questions, well, you have the resources to be able to come up with the solutions. We've done very detailed work on our figures. I think it would be reasonable to expect the Welsh Government, or you as a committee, to look at and to ensure that you have that financial assurance on our figures.
A hefyd, wrth wneud hynny, edrych ar y gwerth am arian rŷn ni'n ei gael. Felly, wrth edrych ar yr arian sydd ar hyn o bryd, mae'r BBC yn dweud, 'O, ni'n cael llwyth'—beth yw'r gwir werth? Os nad yw ein pobl ni'n gwybod ble mae'r penderfyniadau yn cael eu gwneud, beth yw'r gwerth am yr arian yna hefyd? Tra eich bod chi'n gwneud yr ymchwil ariannol, efallai y buasai'n werth edrych ar hynny, hefyd.
Also, in doing so, we should look at the value for money that we receive. So, in looking at the funding that's currently provided, the BBC says, 'You have so much'—what's the real value of that? If our people don't know where decisions are made, what's the value for money aspect there? So, whilst you're carrying out that financial research, it may be worth looking at that, too.
Un cwestiwn bach. Aled, roeddwn i'n jest moyn edrych ar rywbeth a gafodd ei ddweud nawr. Beth glywais i oedd, gyda chwmnïau fel Netflix ac Amazon Prime, o achos y ffaith bod pobl Cymru yn talu atyn nhw, mae yna ryw fath o bwysau y byddem ni'n gallu rhoi arnyn nhw.
One short question. Aled, I just wanted to look at something that was just said. What I heard was that companies such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, because people subscribe to them, there is some kind of pressure that we could bring to bear there, is there?
Petasai gyda ni rheoleiddiwr Cymreig.
If there were regulation in place.
Ond, petasen nhw'n dweud, 'Sori, dŷn ni ddim yn mynd i wneud hynny', beth sy'n digwydd wedyn? Dweud eu bod nhw'n ffaelu darlledu yng Nghymru? Dyw hwnna ddim yn mynd i fod yn boblogaidd iawn, ydy e?
If they were to say, 'Sorry, we're not going to do that', what happens then? Say that they can't broadcast in Wales? That wouldn't be very popular, would it?
Fel dywedodd Colin: faint o arian maen nhw'n ei wneud? Faint o arian mae Sky yn ei wneud o danysgrifwyr yng Nghymru? Maen nhw'n gwneud mwy na beth ŷch chi'n meddwl. Os oes rhaid iddyn nhw wneud hyn a hyn—. Pobl busnes ydyn nhw, maen nhw'n gallu gwneud popeth, mae popeth yn bosibl iddyn nhw. Agweddau fel hyn, ofn eu bod nhw'n mynd i fynd sydd yn ein hatal ni—
As Colin said: how much money do they make? How much money does Sky make from subscribers in Wales? It's more than you think. If they had to do such and such—. They're business people, everything's possible to them. It's attitudes such as this, this fear that they'll pick up and leave, that hold us back—
Er mwyn y darlledu, un person ar y tro, os gwelwch yn dda.
For the broadcast feed, one person at a time, please.
[Anhyglyw.]—sori. Beth fyddai'r gosb?
[Inaudible.]—sorry. What would be the sanction on them?
Dwi'n meddwl y man cychwyn yw: pwy sydd gyda chyfrifoldeb nawr dros sicrhau bod y Gymraeg ar blatfformau digidol fel Netflix a YouTube? Yr ateb yw: neb. Does neb yn cymryd y rôl a'r cyfrifoldeb o sicrhau bod yna fwy o bresenoldeb i'r Gymraeg a Chymru ar blatfform fel YouTube. Mae hwnna'n ddiffyg. Mae'n ddiffyg enbyd o safbwynt presenoldeb y Gymraeg ym mywydau pobl.
Nawr, dŷn ni wedi sôn am dreth ar rai o'r cwmnïau hyn. Felly, mae hwn yn gosb bosibl, onid ydy e? Hynny yw, fuaswn i ddim yn ei weld e fel cosb, achos y rheswm dros y dreth yw bod yna gwmnïau, os gaf i orffen, sy'n gwneud elw enfawr ar gefn cynnwys sy'n cael ei ariannu yn gyhoeddus, ac felly rŷn ni'n eu trethi nhw er mwyn ymyrryd yn y farchnad. Nid cosb ydy hynny, ond dull o sicrhau bod yna fwy o gynnwys.
Felly, y man cychwyn, buaswn i'n ei ddweud yw, pa gorff yn y system darlledu Brydeinig sydd yn sefyll lan dros y Gymraeg a Chymru o ran sicrhau bod yna bresenoldeb ar lein ar y platfform hwn? Does yna neb. A dweud y gwir, mae Ofcom yn dweud, 'Dyw e ddim yn rhan o'n cyfrifoldeb ni'. Felly, y man cychwyn yw sefydlu corff sydd gyda—fel rŷn ni'n sôn am Gyngor Cyfathrebu Cenedlaethol—y remit yna. Dyna un o'r pethau pwysicaf sydd ar goll.
The question is: who has responsibility now for ensuring that the Welsh language is on digital platforms such as Netflix and YouTube? The answer is nobody. Nobody takes the role of ensuring that there is greater content through the medium of Welsh on these platforms, and that is a huge problem in terms of the visibility of the Welsh language in people's everyday lives.
We've talked about a levy on some of these companies or a tax, and that is a possible penalty. I wouldn't see it as a penalty myself, but the reason for levying that tax is because there are companies that do make huge profits on the back of content that is publicly funded. So, we would tax them in order to intervene in the market. That isn't a penalty, it's a means of ensuring that there is more content available.
So, the starting point, in my view, is to look at what body in the current UK broadcast system stands up for the Welsh language in order to ensure that the Welsh language is visible on these platforms. It's nobody's responsibility at the moment, so the starting point is to establish a body—and we did mention the national communications council—that would have that remit, and that is one of the most important things that is currently missing.
Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd. I think it's a very useful exercise to have a radically different alternative presented to this committee, and radical doesn't mean necessarily that it lacks rigour. But it's not a rigorous position to say, 'Here are our guesstimates; you need to prove that they're wrong', and I just wonder, do you have anything more robust to say about how you've come to your estimates? Because it seems to me that it's current spending on broadcasting and a little bit more then to provide the regulatory function. Or is there more to them than I've just indicated?
Oes. Dŷn ni wedi edrych ar sut y gallai ardoll ar rai cwmniau sector preifat a rhyngwladol gyfrannu at y costau hynny. O ran sail y dystiolaeth, rydym ni wedi edrych ar adroddiadau blynyddol y BBC, Ofcom ac S4C, a dŷn ni wedi edrych ar gynseiliau yn Iwerddon o ran hynny o beth, a dŷn ni wedi trafod gyda nifer o arbenigwyr a mudiadau eraill o ran gofyn iddyn nhw herio ein ffigurau ni.
Y rheswm dwi'n rhoi rhyw faint o faich ar y pwyllgor a Llywodraeth Cymru yw achos dwi'n meddwl ei fod yn gwestiwn teg i ofyn iddyn nhw: 'Ocê, dyn ni'n fudiad gwirfoddol sydd wedi gwneud y gwaith y gorau y gallwn ni ei wneud. Mae gyda chi mwy o adnoddau i edrych ar y cwestiwn yma.' Dwi'n meddwl ei fod yn gwestiwn teg. A bod yn deg inni hefyd, does yna ddim ffigurau Cymreig ar gyfer rhai o'r pethau rŷn ni'n sôn amdanyn nhw, felly byddai ddim yn bosib i ddod lan â ffigurau, so mae angen gwneud rhyw amcangyfrif ar ryw lefel. Felly, mae'n ymdrech diffuant, gonest i roi yn y sffêr cyhoeddus y ffigurau gorau roedden ni'n gallu dod lan â nhw. Dŷn ni wedi cwrdd â Mark Drakeford ac wedi gofyn i Lywodraeth Cymru gwneud ymchwil pellach. Dwi'n meddwl eu bod nhw'n agored i hynny. Dwi'n meddwl eu bod nhw mewn sefyllfa dda i wneud gwaith pellach ar hynny.
Yes. We have looked at how a levy on some of these private sector companies could contribute to that cost. In terms of evidence, we've looked at the annual reports of Ofcom, the BBC and S4C, and we've looked at the precedent in Ireland in that regard. We've also discussed with many experts and other organisations so that they could challenge our figures.
The reason I put that burden on the Government and on the committee to research these figures is that I think it's fair to say to them: 'We are a voluntary organisation that's done this work to the best of our ability. You have more resources to look at these questions.' I think it's a fair question. To be fair, we don't have Welsh figures for some of the things that we're looking at, so it wouldn't be possible to come up with those figures. So we do have to provide some estimates on that level, but I think it is a sincere, honest attempt to place in the public sphere the figures to the best of our ability. We have met Mark Drakeford and asked the Welsh Government to undertake this research, and I think they're open to doing that, but I think they would be in a better situation to do that further work.
Buaswn i'n meddwl hefyd, i raddau, yn lle dod o faint o arian gallwn ni ei gael, mae'n bwysig i edrych ar yr un pryd ar anghenion pobl. Dwi'n credu, efallai, bod ein ffigurau ni'n fwy ceidwadol gan ein bod ni hefyd, efallai, ddim wedi edrych ar y darlun llawn o ran posibiliadau o ran y dyfodol digidol yn ein cymunedau ni a chreu mwy yn lleol. Mae eisiau siarad mwy gyda phobl ar draws Cymru, achos mae pobl yn fodlon rhoi—. Os meddyliwch chi am rywbeth fel Radio Ceredigion, fel oedd e, roedd pobl yn rhoi o'u gwirfodd i hynny. Roedd codi arian yn lleol yn digwydd i ariannu hynny. Doedden nhw ddim yn gallu cystadlu, pan aeth e i tender yn erbyn cwmnïau mawr o Lundain sy'n darlledu'r un peth trwy bob man ond yn gwneud un newid bach, ac eto mae e'n werth am arian. Beth ydyn ni'n moyn? Ydyn ni'n moyn llwyth o orsafoedd radio masnachol sydd ddim yn gweithio, neu beth sydd angen ar ein cymunedau ni a sut ydyn ni'n mynd i'w wneud e i weithio? Yr un peth bydden i'n dweud eto: mae'n plant ni, plant o deuluoedd Cymraeg eu hiaith, efallai, yn edrych ar bethau sydd ddim ar gael yn Gymraeg. Beth sydd angen yw inni greu cynnwys iddyn nhw drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg sydd hefyd yn Gymreig ac sydd â ffenest Gymreig. Dyna'r angen, ac mae yna lwyth o ffyrdd y gellir ateb yr angen hynny. Ac wedyn, wrth gwrs, edrych ar beth sydd ar gael yn genedlaethol ac eto dweud gwerth am arian. Mae'r newyddion sy'n dod o'r BBC ar hyn o bryd, os rhywbeth, yn lladd ein cenedl ni yn fwy na grymuso ein cenedl ni.
I would also think, to a certain extent, rather than looking at it from the point of view of how much money we can get, it's important that we look at the needs of the people of Wales too. I do believe that our figures are more conservative, because we perhaps hadn't looked at the bigger picture in terms of future possibilities in terms of the digital future of our communities and creating content locally. We need to speak more to people across Wales, because people of course are willing to give—. If you think of something such as Radio Ceredigion, as it was, then people contributed voluntarily to that. There was local fundraising. Now, they couldn't compete, when it went out to tender, against the large companies from London that broadcast everything across the country making minor changes, but that is value for money. Do we want a whole host of commercial radio stations that don't work? We need to look at what our communities need and how we can make it work. Our children, from Welsh speaking households, are looking at content that simply isn't available through the medium of Welsh, so we need to create that content through the medium of Welsh that views things through a Welsh prism. So, that is the need, and there are all sorts of ways that we could meet that need. Then, of course, we need to look at what's available at a national level, too. As I say, it's value for money. The news that we're getting from the BBC at the moment, if anything, is killing our nation, rather than empowering our nation.
Sorry, did you want to—?
Is it fair for me to infer, then, that, for less than the cost, currently, of the content we get in BBC Cymru and S4C, you're going to provide four tv channels—three Welsh language, one bilingual—and then four radio—again, three Welsh language and one bilingual? It seems to me that the only way that could possibly be feasible is if there's a radically different view of the cost of content. Now, in the YouTube age, there is an argument for more communitarian approaches; I accept that, I'm not being dismissive. But it does seem to me that it's very different from the current system, which has very high production values, then, even given that we can't quite compete with Netflix and the like. Is it fair of me to make that conclusion?
Dwi ddim yn meddwl ei fod e'n llai o arian, dwi'n meddwl ei fod e'n ffigwr tebyg, os nad ychydig yn uwch na'r hyn rŷn ni'n ei ddweud, i fod yn ffeithiol gywir. Dwi'n meddwl bod yna sawl peth i'w dweud o ran hynny. Dwi'n meddwl y byddai nifer o ddarlledwyr yn cyfaddef eu bod nhw eisiau mwy o lwyfannau i ddangos cynnwys fel y mae. Mae hynny'n bwynt. Ond dwi hefyd yn meddwl bod gennym ddull o ariannu—. Mae ffordd o ryddhau rhywfaint o'r arian sy'n bodoli'n barod. Mae yna le i gwestiynu i ba raddau mae cynnwys rhwydwaith y BBC yn fuddiol i Gymru, a dwi'n meddwl bod lle i gwestiynu a ydyn ni'n cyfrif hwnna fel gwariant—? Hynny yw, yn sicr, dyw'r rhan fwyaf ddim yn wariant ar gyfer rhaglenni am Gymru, ond rhaglenni o Gymru, a dwi'n meddwl bod yna le—. Rŷn ni'n sôn am sofraniaeth dros yr arian yna, hynny yw, rheolaeth drosto fe. Felly, dwi'n gweld eu bod nhw'n cynnwys £53 miliwn yn ffigyrau'r BBC ar gyfer rhaglenni rhwydwaith, ond dwi'n meddwl bod yna le i gwestiynu i ba raddau y mae hwnna'n fuddiol o ran adrodd stori Cymru, nid yn unig i bobl Cymru ond i'r byd. Felly, dwi'n meddwl bod datganoli'n rhyddhau'r potensial o ddefnyddio'r arian yna mewn ffyrdd—. A dwi'n meddwl bod hwnna'n ynghlwm â hyn, ac fel dwi'n dweud, dwi'n meddwl bod y ffigwr rŷn ni'n sôn am ei godi ychydig yn uwch na'r hyn sy'n cael ei wario ar hyn o bryd.
I don't think that it's less funding, I think it's a similar figure, if not slightly higher, to be factually accurate. I think there are several things to say in that regard. I think a number of broadcasters would admit that they want more platforms so that they can show their content as it is. I think that is a point that should be made, but I also think that we have a funding method here. We can release some of the funding that exists already. There is room to question to what extent content on the network of the BBC is beneficial to Wales, and I think there's room to question whether we consider that as expenditure—. The majority isn't expenditure for programmes about Wales, but programmes from Wales. We're talking about sovereignty over that funding and control of that funding. So, I see that they include £53 million in the BBC's figures for network programmes, but, I think there is room to question to what extent that is beneficial in terms of telling the story of Wales, not only to the people of Wales, but to the world. So, I think devolution releases the potential of that funding, in a way. I think that is related to what we've put forward, and, I think that the figures that we've put forward are a slight increase on what is currently being spent.
Un o broblemau pethau fel S4C, wrth gwrs, yw, os ŷch chi'n gwylio S4C a bod y rhaglen ddim wrth eich bodd chi, ble sydd gan siaradwyr Cymraeg i fynd? Wel, rŷn ni'n mynd i droi i sianelau Saesneg. Mae S4C wastad yn gorfod brwydro yn erbyn popeth arall, hynny yw, mae'n trial achub yr iaith ar ei phen ei hun, bron â bod. Dyw hynny jest ddim yn sefyllfa gynaliadwy mewn unrhyw ffordd, dwi'n meddwl.
The problem now with things like S4C is, if you watch S4C and the programme isn't to your taste, well, where does a Welsh speaker go? They will turn to English-medium channels. S4C always have to fight against every other provider, and it's trying to save the language on its own, almost, and that simply isn't a sustainable position in any way whatsoever.
Sori, pwynt arall dwi wedi anghofio ei ddweud yw, os edrychwch chi ar Wlad y Basg a Catalonia, mae gyda nhw dwy ecosystem, onid oes? Mae gyda nhw system gynhenid ac maen nhw'n parhau i dderbyn rhaglenni'r wladwriaeth, hynny yw, o Madrid yn bennaf, am wn i. Felly, dyw e ddim i ddweud—rŷn ni'n gallu creu'r ecosystem Gymraeg a Chymreig yma ar yr un pryd â derbyn rhaglenni Prydeinig. Felly, mae'n ychwanegu at y ddarpariaeth. A dwi'n meddwl, hefyd, bod yna le i gwestiynu petaswn ni'n gwario mwy o arian ar raglenni am Gymru, i ba raddau y byddai rhai darlledwyr yn parhau i gynhyrchu pethau yng Nghymru sydd ddim er lles neu sydd ddim yn gwasanaethu buddiannau pobl Cymru? So, dwi ddim yn meddwl ei fod e'n zero-sum game o ran rhai o'r ffigyrau, os ŷch chi'n deall beth rwy'n ceisio ei ddweud. Hynny yw, mae yna rywfaint o raglenni fyddai'n cael eu cynhyrchu yng Nghymru ta beth am arian y ffi drwydded a'r calculations ynghylch hynny.
Sorry, a point that I forgot to make is if you look at the Basque Country and Catalonia, they have two ecosystems: they have the indigenous system and they continue to receive programmes from the state—from Madrid, mainly. So, it's not to say that—we can create a Welsh and Welsh-medium ecosystem here the same time as we receive UK programming. So, it adds to the provision. And, I think there's room to question, if we were to spend more funding on programmes about Wales, to what extent some broadcasters would continue to produce content in Wales that doesn't serve the needs of the people of Wales. So, I don't think it's a zero-sum game in terms of some of the figures, if you understand what I'm trying to say. There are some programmes that would be produced in Wales regardless, with regard to the license fee and the calculations on that.
Okay, and then, finally, your model relies on some sort of tax base and a sort of new technical, digital age, and all the companies involved in that, most of them, on a global basis. Now, I do accept there's a huge debate out there—you can read articles in the Financial Times saying that we need, somehow, to be able to tax them, and these companies are often mentioned. So, there's a clear public good at the heart of what you're saying, which many in this country, in the UK more widely, and around the world, would share. But, it has to be said that we still don't seem to have a model that effectively does this yet. You may know one out there that works, and please tell us about it, but, I suppose my question is: if some form of tax base does emerge that captures these companies in the medium and longer term, in the short term, do you still think that your model is viable? And is the importance of full devolution, in effect, over broadcasting such that you would still push for it, even if a fairly quick tax base was generated?
Jest ar bwynt ffeithiol, dwi ddim yn meddwl y byddai Llywodraeth Prydain yn derbyn dy ddadl bod e ddim yn ymarferol bosibl i osod treth gwasanaethau digidol, achos dyna beth—.
Just on a point of fact, I don't think the UK Government would accept the argument that it's not practically possible to put a digital transaction tax in place.
Ond y cynllun ar hyn o bryd yw ei fod e'n dod i mewn i rym ym mis Ebrill eleni, felly, dwi ddim yn meddwl y byddan nhw'n derbyn ei fod e'n anymarferol. Dwi'n meddwl eu bod nhw'n cynllunio eu bod nhw'n derbyn £440 miliwn yn 2023-24 o'r dreth hynny. Felly, dwi'n meddwl y byddai Llywodraeth Prydain yn dadlau ei fod e'n hollol ymarferol. Ond, Heledd, os wyt ti—.
Well, the plan at the moment is that it should come into force in April of this year, so, I don't think that they would accept that it's impractical. I think the plan is that they would receive £440 million in 2023-24 from that tax. So, I think the UK Government will argue that it's entirely practical. But, Heledd, if you—.
Yes, and it's a huge bone of contention between the UK Government and the relevant—
Ie, ond dwi ddim yn meddwl ei bod hi'n ddadl—
Yes, but I don't think it's an argument—
Dwi'n credu, o ran—. O fod wedi sôn am y problemau gyda darlledu yng Nghymru, a dwi ddim yn credu bod neb yn dadlau yn erbyn hynny, yn egwyddorol, i mi, yr unig ateb yw datganoli darlledu a rheoleiddio. Mae hynny, i mi, yn hollol amlwg. Allaf i ddim deall unrhyw ddadl yn erbyn hynny. Felly, rŷn ni'n dal ar y pwynt lle dŷn ni ddim wedi cyrraedd y pwynt lle mae yna, ar hyn o bryd, gytundeb am hynny ac rŷn ni'n dal i ddadlau'r achos hynny. A beth sy'n cael ei daflu atom ni, wrth gwrs yw, 'O, beth amboutu'r arian? Beth amboutu'r arian? Beth amboutu'r adnoddau?', er bod yr angen yn ddirfawr a bod yna genhedloedd ar draws y byd sydd yn ei wneud e—dyna beth mae'r cenhedloedd yn ei wneud. Ond, wrth gwrs, mi fyddai'n broses.
Fel, rwyf i wedi'i ddweud, mae'r Cyngor Cyfathrebu Cenedlaethol wedi'i sefydlu. Maen nhw'n edrych nawr ar sut dylid rheoleiddio teledu, radio, mynediad i'r we, sydd yn beth arall y mae Ofcom—. Daethon nhw mas ag 'Enabling 5G in the UK', lle mae yna dargedau uchel i fod yn cyrraedd dinasoedd. Mae'r targedau hynny wedi'u cyrraedd. Ai dyna'r math o genedl rŷn ni moyn bod, neu ydyn ni moyn cenedl sydd yn ariannu mynediad i'r we yn y wlad er mwyn cadw economi'r wlad a phobl yn eu cymunedau? Felly, maen nhw'n edrych ar hynny; teledu a radio lleol a masnachol; y wasg brintiedig—lle mae'r Daily Mail yn gallu cyrraedd Aberystwyth ar y trên o'r Amwythig gyda dim gair am Gymru ynddo fe neu'r ffeithiau'n anghywir am Gymru. Felly, dyna lle rŷn ni ar hyn o bryd. Felly, mae'n broses. Maen nhw wedi dechrau ar y gwaith o, 'Pa fath o reoliadau allwn ni eu gwneud? Sut, yn ymarferol, mae hyn yn mynd i ddigwydd?' Felly, mae hynny yn ei hunan yn broses. Mae'r ardoll ddigidol rŷn ni wedi bod yn sôn amdano yn rhan o edrych ar y broses hynny: pa fath o ddeddfau sydd eu hangen ar Gymru er mwyn gallu rheoleiddio yn y maes hynny? Felly, dwi'n credu bod eisiau edrych arno fe nawr, ac mi ddaw, ac mae'n rhan o'r broses honno. Ond y peth cyntaf sydd eisiau ei wneud yw i'r pwyllgor hwn i awgrymu, a'r Llywodraeth i gytuno, bod datganoli darlledu yn angenrheidiol i ddemocratiaeth pobl Cymru ac i'r iaith Gymraeg.
I think, in terms of—. Having mentioned the problems with broadcasting in Wales, and I don't think that anyone is arguing against that, in principle, for me, the only response is to devolve broadcasting to Wales, and regulation to Wales. I can't understand any argument against that, either. We are still at the point where we haven't reached the point, yet, where there is agreement on that, and we're still making the case for that. And, what's thrown back at us is, 'Well, what about the funding? What about the funding? What about the resources?', even though it is needed, and there are nations worldwide that already do this—that's what nations do. But, it would be a process.
As I've said, the national communications council has been established. They're now looking at how television, radio and internet access should be regulated. Ofcom have brought out 'Enabling 5G in the UK', where there are ambitious targets in terms of reaching cities. Those targets have been met. Is that the kind of nation that we want to be, or do we want to be a nation that funds internet access in rural areas to maintain the economy in rural areas and maintain the communities in those areas? So, they're looking at that; commercial and local radio and television; the print press—where the Daily Mail can reach Aberystwyth on the train from Shrewsbury with no mention made of Wales or with incorrect facts about Wales. So, that's where we currently are. So, it's a process. They've started on the work of, 'What regulations can we make? How will this happen practically?' So, that in itself is a process. The digital levy that we've mentioned is part of looking at that process also: what kind of laws are needed in Wales so that we can regulate in this area? We need to look at this now, and it will come, and it's part of the process. But the first thing we need to do is for this committee to suggest, and the Government to agree, that the devolution of broadcasting is essential for the democratic interests of the people of Wales and the Welsh language.
Dwi eisiau tynnu John Griffiths i mewn, os yw hynny'n iawn gyda chi, David.
I want to bring John Griffiths in, David, if that's okay.
Diolch, Cadeirydd. Again, I think we've given the issues around possible devolution pretty good coverage already, but in terms of S4C and the particular issues, I think, Heledd, you talked about it being a process in terms of full devolution and what you want to see. To what extent do you think there might be a particular approach regarding S4C in the shorter term, as it were, and what would be the benefits of that?
Wrth gwrs, pan wnaethom ni ddechrau ar y gwaith hwn o siarad amboutu datganoli darlledu, roedd pob un yn cymryd yn ganiataol ein bod ni'n siarad amboutu datganoli S4C, a oedd yn eithaf diddorol. Rwy'n credu bod hwnna'n dangos bod S4C wedi dod yn rhan o'r sefydliad, a hwnna sy'n cynrychioli darlledu yng Nghymru. Ond dyw hwnna ddim yn wir o gwbl. Beth rŷn ni wedi trio gwneud yw shifft-o'r ddadl i sylweddoli—hynny yw, S4C, sianel yw e, sianel Cymru yn Gymraeg—bod eisiau sianelau Cymru'n Gymraeg ar sianel 1, 2 a 3, onid oes e? Felly, mae eisiau edrych ar sut buasai S4C, fel ag y mae nawr, yn gallu cyfrannu i'r symudiad hynny. Pa arbenigedd sydd o fewn S4C nawr? Ond byddai fe mwy neu lai, buaswn i'n meddwl, yn dod yn un o'r sianelau, efallai'n brif sianel. Byddai eisiau penderfynu pwy yw cynulleidfaoedd S4C, pa fath o raglenni, beth yw ei gyllideb, ac yn y blaen. Wedyn, byddai sianel 1 Cymru, dywedwch, yn hwnna; a sianel 2 Cymru fyddai, efallai, dim ond newyddion a chwaraeon neu rywbeth; sianel 3 Cymru fyddai materion ysgafn; efallai byddai S4C 1 yn bethau mwy dwys a newyddiadurol. Dwi ddim yn gwybod. Dyna beth mae eisiau edrych arno. Ond, i fi, dyw S4C ddim fan yna mewn carreg; mae'n rhywbeth hyblyg sydd angen ei ddefnyddio i ddod i'r model iawn.
Of course, when we began this work of talking about the devolution of broadcasting, everyone assumed that we were talking about the devolution of S4C, which was quite interesting. I think that shows that S4C has become part of the establishment, and represents broadcasting in Wales. But that's not the case. What we've tried to do is to shift the argument to realise—S4C is a channel, it's a Welsh-medium channel for Wales—we need Welsh-medium channels for Wales on channel 1, channel 2 and channel 3, don't we? So, we need to look at how S4C, as it is at the moment, can contribute to that shift. What expertise does it have at the moment? But it would more or less become one of the channels, perhaps the main channel. We would then need to decide who the S4C audiences are, what kind of programming they should produce, what the budget is, and so on. Then, that would be, say, channel 1 Wales; channel 2 Wales would, perhaps, then cover just news and sport; and then channel 3 would be more entertainment based; and S4C 1 could be more journalistic, perhaps. I don't know. We'd need to look at that, of course. But, for me, S4C isn't set in stone; it is something that is flexible and has to be used to find the right model.
Rydyn ni'n cytuno. Roedd yna bwyllgor yn y Senedd yma, yn ôl yn 2008, a oedd wedi edrych ar ddarlledu ac wedi dod i'r canfyddiad fod datganoli S4C fel sianel ar ei phen ei hun ddim yn rhywbeth i'w ystyried. Mae o'n rhan o ddarlledu, ac rydyn ni'n cydweld. Dyw hynny ddim yn opsiwn rydyn ni'n ei ystyried, achos byddai'n rhaid cael y rheoleiddio a dulliau ariannu a phopeth yn rhan ohono fo, a byddai'n rhaid i S4C fod nid ond yn sianel ond yn ddarlledwr cyhoeddus aml-gyfryngol, dwyieithog, o bosib. So, eto, dydy datganoli un sianel—dim dyna sydd dan sylw fan hyn, ond datganoli darlledu yn ei gyfanrwydd.
We agree. There was a committee of this Senedd in 2008 that looked at broadcasting, and the finding was that the devolution of S4C as a channel on its own wasn't desirable. It's part of the broadcasting picture, and we agree with that. That's not an option that we are considering here, because we would have to have the regulation and the funding streams as part of that, and S4C wouldn't just be a channel but it would be a multi-media bilingual public broadcaster, perhaps. So, devolving one channel—that's not what we're talking about here, it's devolving broadcasting as a whole.
Dwi'n meddwl fod comisiwn Silk wedi edrych ar y cwestiwn hefyd, ac roedden nhw'n edrych ar becyn o bwerau, nid jest un peth. Dwi'n meddwl roedden nhw'n sôn am ffederaleiddio'r BBC yn ogystal â hynny. Dwi'n meddwl ei fod e'n bwysig cofio, nid S4C yw darlledu Cymraeg. Hynny yw, mae darlledu Cymraeg hyd yn oed yn fwy na hynny. Fel roeddem ni'n sôn: radio masnachol, a lle mae'r Gymraeg ar Netflix. Mae diffyg corff sydd yn ymwneud â'r holl lwyfannau yn amlwg iawn ac yn ddifrifol. Ond dyw e ddim yn mynd i ddod o du San Steffan, y corff penodol hwnnw, i reoleiddio er lles y Gymraeg ac er lles democratiaeth yng Nghymru. Dyw e jest ddim yn mynd i ddod. Dwi'n meddwl bod rhaid i wleidyddion Cymru ddeffro i'r ffaith fod hwnna'n fygythiad i ddemocratiaeth yng Nghymru ac yn fygythiad i'r Gymraeg. Rŷn ni'n colli cyfleoedd difrifol, enfawr, wrth beidio â gwneud hynny. Os ydych chi'n edrych ar S4C a sut mae'n cymharu gyda Catalonia a Gwlad y Basg, a sut mae twf ddim wedi digwydd, mae datganoli pwerau i'r gwledydd hynny yn amlwg yn rhan o'r ffactor pam nad ydyn ni wedi gweld twf y Gymraeg o gymharu â gwledydd tebyg i ni.
I think the Silk commission looked at this question too, and they were looking at a package of powers, not just one thing. I think they were talking about the federalisation of the BBC too. I think it's important to bear in mind that S4C is not Welsh broadcasting. Welsh broadcasting is even more than that. We've talked about commercial radio and the place of the Welsh language on Netflix. The absence of a body covering all of these platforms is very prominent and very serious indeed. It's not going to be resolved from Westminster; that body isn't going to be established in Westminster to regulate for the benefit of the Welsh language but also for the benefit of democracy in Wales. It's simply not going to come from Westminster. I think politicians in Wales have to wake up to the fact that this is a threat to democracy in Wales and a threat to the Welsh language. We are missing huge opportunities in not doing that. If you look at S4C and how it compares with Catalonia and the Basque Country, and how growth hasn't happened here, then the devolution of powers to those nations that I've just mentioned is clearly part of the factor as to why we haven't seen growth in Wales compared to countries similar to us.
Mae hefyd efallai werth dweud bod y sefyllfa, gellid dweud, o ran gwybodaeth i'r di-Gymraeg yn waeth, achos bod gyda ni Golwg, Barn, Y Faner Newydd, Y Cymro—papurau newydd yng Nghymru sydd yn edrych ar Gymru gyda llygad Cymru. Felly, gellid dweud ei fod e'n hyd yn oed yn waeth. Felly, fel dwi'n dweud, mae'n rhan o ddarlun mwy. Ac efallai, o ddatganoli dim ond S4C, rŷch chi'n creu hwnna fel y darlledwr i Gymru, ac mae e'n ddigon o gocyn hitio fel y mae e. Does dim eisiau creu mwy o gocyn hitio, dwi ddim yn credu.
It's also perhaps worth pointing out that the situation, it could be said, in terms of information for those who don't speak Welsh is worse, because we have Golwg, Barn, Y Faner Newydd, Y Cymro—newspapers in Welsh in Wales that look at Wales through that Welsh-medium lens. So, it could be said that's even worse. So, as I say, it's part of a bigger picture. And perhaps, in devolving S4C alone, you then establish that as the broadcaster in Wales, and it's enough of whipping boy as it is. We don't need to exacerbate that situation.
Thank you. Unrhyw beth arall, John?
Thank you. Anything else, John?
Just in terms of what Professor Lewis had to say about a federalised model and a pooling of decision making between the UK nations. Obviously, that's fairly moderate compared to what you'd like to see, but do you see any merit in that in terms of the process in the short term?
Dwi'n meddwl, actually, bod yr hyn rŷn ni'n awgrymu yn fodel ffederal. Mae'n dibynnu sut mae rhywun yn diffinio 'ffederal', onid ydy e? Gellid dadlau ei fod e'n fodel ffederal, yr hyn rŷn ni'n dadlau drosto fe. Dwi'n meddwl mai'r cwestiwn pwysicaf i ni, a dwi'n gwybod bod rhywun o ITV wedi gofyn: 'Beth sydd yna i ddatrys? Pam rydyn ni'n trafod hyn?' Wel, a ydy'r system yn mynd i ddelio â'r diffyg democrataidd difrifol sy'n bodoli? Dyw hanner y boblogaeth ddim yn gwybod pwy yw Prif Weinidog Cymru. Mae dros hanner y boblogaeth ddim yn yn gwybod pwy yw arweinwyr y gwrthbleidiau. Sut ar wyneb y ddaear maen nhw i fod i wneud penderfyniadau democrataidd yn y fath sefyllfa?
Ac yn ail, sut mae'n helpu'r Gymraeg o ran ei phresenoldeb? Fel dwi'n dweud, does dim arwydd o gwbl bod San Steffan am wneud unrhyw beth am hynny. So, dwi'n meddwl bod rhai pobl yn dweud—roedd rhai o'r tystion o'r BBC ac ITV yn dweud—achos bod Netflix yn bodoli ei fod e'n rhyw fath o ddadl yn erbyn datganoli darlledu. I'r gwrthwyneb yn llwyr: mae'n dangos bod angen corff yng Nghymru i fod yn rheoleiddio ac yn mynnu fod y Gymraeg yn cael presenoldeb ar y llwyfannau hynny.
I think, actually, what we're suggesting is a federal model. It depends how you define 'federal', I suppose, doesn't it? One could argue that it is a federal model, what we're arguing for. The most important question for us, and I know that someone from ITV asked: 'What is there to resolve? Why are we discussing this?' Well, is the system going to deal with the grave democratic deficit that exists now? Half the population don't know who the First Minister of Wales is. More than half the population don't know who the leaders of the opposition parties are. How on earth are they supposed to make democratic decisions in such a scenario?
And secondly, how does it help the Welsh language in terms of its prominence? And as I say, there is no signal whatsoever from Westminster that they are going to do anything about that. So, some people say—and I think some witnesses from BBC and ITV said—that because Netflix exists it's some sort of argument against the devolution of broadcasting. It's quite to the contrary: it shows that we need a body in Wales to be that regulator and to insist that the Welsh language does have prominence on those platforms.
O ran y broses, hynny yw, buaswn i'n meddwl bod y ddadl dros ffederaleiddio ddim ond yn ddadl dros dod â rhyw fath o gonsensws, neu dros drio annog pobl i gytuno. Os ydyn ni moyn cadw'r ffi drwydded, er enghraifft, yng Nghymru, os taw ni sy'n gyfrifol amdano fe, fe allwn ni wneud hynny. Does dim rhaid i ni fynd i Loegr i ofyn. Ond os yw e er mwyn symud pethau ymlaen o ran y broses, efallai bod lle iddo fe. Ond, datganoli darlledu: ni sy'n gwybod beth sydd ei angen ar Gymru, a dylen ni ddim fod yn gorfod mynd i ddadlau beth rŷn ni'n gwybod gyda Gweinidogion mewn gwlad arall.
In terms of the process, I would say that the argument for federalising is an argument in favour of coming to a consensus, or trying to encourage people to agree. If we want to maintain the licence fee in Wales, for example, if we're responsible for it, then we could do that. We wouldn't have to go to England, cap in hand, to ask for it. But if it's to move things forward in terms of the process, perhaps there is room for that. But, devolution of broadcasting: we know what's needed in Wales, and we shouldn't have to go and put forward the arguments to Ministers in another country.
Ac fel ro'n i'n dweud gynt, ar ddechrau yr ymgyrch i sefydlu Senedd i Gymru yn y 1950au, roedden nhw'n sôn am ddarlledu. Ydy e'n fodel ffederal? Am wn i ei fod e. Mae e'n fath o ymreolaeth i bob cenedl. Felly, dwi'n meddwl, beth bynnag yw'r term, mae'n rhan naturiol o beth ddylai gael ei ddatganoli, buaswn i'n dweud.
As I said earlier, at the beginning of the campaign to establish a Welsh Parliament in the 1950s, they were talking about broadcasting. Is that a federal model? Well, I suppose it is. It's autonomy for every nation. So, I think, whatever term you use, it's a natural part of what should be devolved, I would say.
Ond, fel ti'n dweud, yr ymgyrch dros sefydlu S4C, ymgyrch dros ddatganoli darlledu oedd e i ddechrau, ond achos bod pedwerydd sianel yn dod yn rhydd, penderfynwyd cymryd y cyfle i'w droi yn ymgyrch dros S4C. Mae 40 mlynedd—. So, pedair sianel; roedd un yn Gymraeg. Mae yna 40 mlynedd wedi mynd, a dyw e ddim wedi symud ymlaen dim; ddim hyd yn oed cyrch gorchwyl S4C i wneud pethau ar-lein tan yn ddiweddar. Efallai ei fod e'n ddiweddar—. Ond ydyn ni wir yn mynd i ddadlau bod ein rheoleiddio ni yn well lle mae e nawr, i feddwl beth yw'n sefyllfa ni ar hyn o bryd? All hi ddim fod yn waeth.
But, as you said, the campaign to establish S4C was a campaign to devolve broadcasting initially, but because the fourth channel became available, it was turned into a campaign to establish S4C. Forty years—. So, we had four channels; one was in Welsh. Forty years have elapsed, and it hasn't moved forward; not even S4C's remit to do things online until recently. I think that was recent—. So, are we genuinely going to argue that our regulation is best held where it currently is, considering what our situation is at the moment? It couldn't be worse, could it?
Ocê, wel, dyna ddiwedd ein cwestiynau ni. Diolch yn fawr iawn am eich tystiolaeth heddiw, a'r dystiolaeth ysgrifenedig. Fel dwi'n siŵr eich bod chi'n gwybod, fe wnewch chi dderbyn transcript er mwyn sicrhau ein bod ni wedi cofnodi yn gywir beth yn union beth dŷch chi wedi'i ddweud. Wrth gwrs, bydd tystiolaeth arall yn dod gerbron, ac os dŷch chi am ymateb i hynny o gwbl, mae croeso i chi gyfrannu eto yn ysgrifenedig. Felly, diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am eich cyfraniadau. Diolch yn fawr.
Okay, well, that concludes our questioning. Thank you very much for your evidence today, and for your written evidence. As I'm sure you will know, you will receive a transcript to ensure that we have accurately recorded your comments. Of course, other witnesses will provide evidence, and if you want to respond to that evidence, then you are welcome to contribute further written evidence. So, thank you very much for your attendance today. Thank you.
Diolch yn fawr.
Mae gyda ni un papur i nodi, dwi'n credu. Rydyn ni'n symud i'r llythyr oddi wrth y Gweinidog Addysg. So, ydy Aelodau'n hapus i nodi'r asesiad cyhoeddus? Os oes angen, cawn ni ei drafod mewn sesiwn breifat. Yw hynny'n iawn? Iawn.
And I think we have one paper to note. It is correspondence from the Education Minister. Are Members content to note that public assessment? If need be, we can discuss it in private session. Content? Okay.
bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).
that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).
Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
Felly, dwi'n cynnig ein bod ni'n symud i mewn i sesiwn breifat a gwahardd y cyhoedd o'n trafodaethau. A yw pawb yn hapus i dderbyn hynny? Diolch yn fawr.
I will move a motion under the Standing Order that we resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting. Is everyone content? Thank you.
Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 11:40.
The public part of the meeting ended at 11:40.