Patten calls for BBC’s senior staff to be cut

Oliver Smith
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CHRIS Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, yesterday called for a reduction in the number of BBC senior managers by half over the next two years.

In a speech at the Prix Italia broadcasting awards in Turin last night, Patten called for the nearly 600 senior managers currently employed to be reduced to less than 300, one per cent of the BBC’s workforce, by 2015.

The move would “create a smaller group of people more clearly accountable for spending the licence fee,” he said.

Patten praised recent reforms to BBC pensions, the phasing out of private health care, and the reductions in executive pay, but warned more steps were needed for the BBC to regain public confidence.

“It has been, and will continue to be, a painful process but it is necessary if we are to secure public confidence,” Patten said.

The BBC is currently cutting 2,000 jobs over five years as part of its Delivering Quality First programme. The cuts led to staff strike action in March by the National Union of Journalists, which said the cuts were, “ill conceived and badly implemented”.