§ Mr. Colvin
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning proposals that the content of programmes on cable television should not include anything which offends against good taste or decency, or is likely to encourage or incite crime, or to lead to disorder, or to be offensive to public feeling.
§ Mr. Hurd
Following the publication in October 1982 of the report of the inquiry into cable expansion and broadcasting policy chaired by Lord Hunt of Tanworth (Cmnd. 8679) and, in April, of the White Paper, "The Development of Cable Systems and Services" (Cmnd. 8866), the Department received a large number of representations from members of the public and others to the effect that cable programmes should be required to observe the same standards as the broadcast services in areas such as good taste and decency, with no exception for any individual channels. The Government indicated in paragraph 136 of the White Paper that they accepted those arguments and clause 9(1)(a) of the Cable and Broadcasting Bill provides accordingly.
§ Mr. Wheeler
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has yet completed his consideration of the applications for licences for the provision of additional services over existing cable systems.
§ Mr. Brittan
I am now prepared to grant licences to a number of cable operators to enable them to provide new programme services over their existing systems. I understand that the first such services should commence in January, but the starting date in particular areas depends on the plans of the operators concerned and the availability of the programme services they wish to use. The intentions of cable operators are not in all cases yet definite but I expect to grant licences, which will be subject to the terms336W and conditions outlined in the White Paper on the Development of Cable Systems and Services (Crnnd.8866), to the following:
- British Telecom (Irvine, Milton Keynes and Washington)
- Cablevision (Southall) Ltd.
- Cablevision (Wellingborough) Ltd.
- Greenwich Cablevision Ltd.
- Philips Cable Television Ltd. (Northampton and Tredegar)
- Radio Rentals Ltd. (8 areas)
- Rediffusion Consumer Electronics Ltd. (53 areas)
- Telefusion Ltd. (areas yet to be specified)
- Teleline Ltd. (Princess Risborough and Wendover)
- Visionhire Cable Ltd. (areas yet to be specified)
- West Wales Aerials (Llandeilo)