CONCERNS have been raised by a Carmarthenshire MP about the impact of the BBC’s new UK News plan on local journalism.

Jonathan Edwards, MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, spoke in Parliament about the BBC’s ‘Across the UK’ plan and the impact it could have on local media such as newspapers.

He said that a pressure on resources could see some local titles stop publishing and asked the secretary of state for culture, media and sport what assessments have been made about the impact of the proposals on the sector.

Minister John Whittingdale responded that the Charter "requires the BBC to consider its market impact and to ensure that it seeks to avoid unnecessary adverse impacts on competition, including local news."

He added: “The BBC’s ‘Across the UK’ agenda sets out plans to move more of its operation and expenditure out of London, to fulfil its duty to support the create economy across the UK.”

He also spoke of how Ofcom assessed the plans in December 2022 for the BBC to increase its online local news output and said that the change "was not one that may have a significant adverse impact on fair and effective competition."

He also committed to "monitoring the implementation of the BBC’s proposals, with a view to addressing any emerging evidence of adverse impact on competition.”

Mr Edwards said: “I am very concerned regarding these plans and totally support the need to protect local news and the role local newspapers have in our community.

“The sector is facing challenges as it is. There is no replacement for local knowledge and understanding of local news and campaigns and I will be supporting the call for the BBC to change its course.”