Channel 6 has cross-party support says poll
Wednesday, May 4 2011, 16:03 BST
By Alex Fletcher,
A ComRes poll conducted by Channel 6 has revealed that nearly 90% of MPs support plans for more local TV across the UK.
Channel 6, which is led by former Trinity Mirror executive Richard Horwood, recently submitted a bid to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to take on the new channel, which would have a national schedule with local opt-outs.
Ahead of this week's local elections, the organisation has published results of a poll of local MPs which reveals that there is considerable backing for its proposals. The poll involved 155 MPs and has been weighted to reflect the composition of the House of Commons in terms of party representation and regional constituency representation.
The main findings were that 87% of MPs would support local TV, with support evenly distributed across all parties, while 76% of MPs across all parties appreciated the role of local TV in strengthening local democracy.
85% of MPs agreed that local TV needs high-quality programmes to compete for viewers with the national channels, with near-unanimity across all three main parties, and 74% of MPs felt that TV news and features tend to be too London-centric.
Richard Horwood, chief executive of Channel 6, said: "The Channel 6 poll shows that the launch of local TV is one of those rare policies on which MPs of all parties agree, as long as its quality is comparable with programming on other channels. This will not only enable local TV to attract viewers, but also justify placing the channel in the number 6 slot.
"The benefits for local democracy are clear: TV has a unique power to engage audiences, shining its spotlight on issues which often concern people most in their neighbourhoods."