Editorial: The strange world of the BBC

The revelation that some £24m was spent persuading staff to relocate to Salford is yet more evidence of how out of touch BBC management really are

Share

Once again, the extent to which the BBC management has lost touch with reality has been exposed. This time, it comes with the revelation that some £24m of taxpayers’ money was spent persuading London-based staff to relocate to Salford as part of the broadcasters’ commitment, in 2004, to shift the majority of its programming away from the capital.

The figures set out by the National Audit Office yesterday simply cannot be justified. Of the 850-odd people handed a lump sum to lure them north, nearly 200 received £50,000 or more and 11 pocketed £100,000-plus.

Hardly more encouraging is the NAO’s conclusion that the Corporation “did not apply a consistent approach” to the handling of those cases considered “exceptional”. Not just profligate, then; also shambolic.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the BBC exists in a parallel world – or at least its bosses think that it does. For most of us, if the job moves then we are required to move with it – or to pursue our options elsewhere.

Not only do the BBC’s over-generous sweeteners make a mockery of the Corporation’s supposed aim of improving its diversity by spreading its operations around the country. Coming so soon after George Entwistle was handed a £450,000 pay-off – despite being forced to stand down as Director-General, after just 54 days in the job, over his incompetent handling of the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal – the case is overwhelming for closer attention to be paid to where and how the licence fee is spent.

The BBC Trust yesterday expressed “disappointment” that the controls on relocation payments had proved inadequate. But that cannot be the end of the matter. It is up to Tony Hall, the newly installed Director-General, to shake up the culture of an institution that has become unforgivably self-indulgent. His recent proposal of a £150,000 cap on executive pay-offs is a start. But it is only a start. And the exorbitant relocation costs show how far he has to go.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading and innovative con...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Alan Titchmarsh MP?  

Alan Titchmarsh MP? His independent manifesto gets my vote

Jane Merrick
 

I’ll support England’s women, but it’s not like men’s football – and that’s a good thing

Matthew Norman
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue