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Articles about ‘Culture, media and sport’

Calling for end to Government’s rip-off phone rates

Opening a debate on the controversial use of 0845 and 087 numbers by ministerial departments this morning, I called for the government to end the use of high cost phone lines. I have been contacted by local people understandbly irate that calling government departments leaves them with sky high bills. After questioning government departments about their use of these numbers, I have been shocked by the scale and scope of the Government’s use of high cost phone lines. Over sixty percent of government phone lines are high cost – and the Department of Work and Pensions alone has over two hundred 0845 numbers.

I believe the government need a full scale overhaul of the way that public telephone services are organised. We need a simple system that ensures all essential calls for public services are free, and makes calling for government help and advice as simple and cheap as possible.

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A fair share for Birmingham – my speech on the arts and creative industries

Yesterday in parliament we debated the importance of the arts and creative industries – not only for the economy but for people’s lives. I called on the government to invest and harness Birmingham’s innovation and talent – especially by ensuring the BBC has a real and long term presence in our region. We need more programmes produced here, and more representation of local people on the TV screens and radio.

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Visit to BBC Birmingham’s Drama Village

Calling for Birmingham to be new media hub

Government approves News Corp plan for Sky News

Many constituents have been in touch over the last six months with their concerns about the bid by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to take total control of BSkyB.

You may have seen today’s news that Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, has approved News Corporation’s plan to spin off Sky News, clearing the way for its proposed £8bn purchase of the 61% of BSkyB it does not already own. Read more