Support for AgeUK Save TV campaign

26/06/2019, PR-9103

Save free TV for older people

With potentially more than 18,000 elderly residents across the district in danger of losing their free TV licences, if BBC has its way, Wakefield Council is supporting a campaign calling on the government to intervene.

Leader of Wakefield Council, Cllr Peter Box CBE, successfully secured cross-party support at June’s Full Council to call on the government to take back responsibility for funding free TV licences. It was decided to back the national Age UK petition.

The BBC, which currently underwrites free TV licences for those over 75 years old, has said that it will be scrapping the free licences for those who do not receive pension credit from June 2020. The BBC says that it currently costs £750 million per year.

The Council opened the AgeUK petition for signature at County Hall, Town Hall and Wakefield One. Petitions can also be signed online by visiting www.wakefield.gov.uk/TVpetition.

Cllr Peter Box said: "The government has broken its manifesto commitment to continue to fund TV licences by passing the responsibility to the BBC without providing the funding to support it. We are totally against this move by the BBC. I urge everyone all across Wakefield district to sign the petition to say that they too support free licences for the over 75s."

Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council

Many speakers at June's Full Council made impassioned speeches in support of the motion. Some said that for some of the elderly, the TV is as essential as human companionship is to these people.

AgeUK is aiming to reach 630,000 signatures. It has so far signed up more than 583,000.

The petitions will be available in County Hall, Town Hall and Wakefield One from today until Monday 15th July 2019.