§ Mr. Steve Webb (Northavon)
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to present a petition supported by more than 2,000 of my constituents which relates to the injustice whereby religious broadcasters, such as United Christian Broadcasters, are prevented from bidding for national radio broadcasting licences. Such organisations already broadcast successfully to local communities through local radio and satellite, but, for no good reason, are barred from seeking to broadcast to a wider audience. The petition has been organised by my constituent Mrs. Catherine Van Zoen, to whom I am most grateful.
The petition states:That current broadcasting legislation is unfair in the way in which it discriminates against religious broadcasters and that religious organisations should be able to compete on a level playing field with secular organisations for the full range of broadcasting licences.Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your honourable House will urge the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to bring forward proposals to amend the legislation to remove discrimination against the ownership of broadcasting licences by religious bodies, and to require the Independent Television Commission and the Radio Authority to amend their Rules and Codes of Guidance to remove provisions which discriminate, in wording or in practice, against religious bodies.
§ To lie upon the Table.