Petition against ITV Central move

More than 20,000 people signed an NUJ petition calling on Prime Minister Tony Blair to save Nottingham’s ITV news studio from closure, according to the union, writes Wale Azeez.

The petition was handed in at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday last week as part of the ongoing campaign by the NUJ and Bectu against the wholesale move of ITV Central’s East Midlands news operations to Birmingham, which will see 200 jobs cut following the sale of the site.

More than 100 MPs, local authorities and sporting organisations, including Nottingham Forest football club, have given their support to the campaign.

Regional MPs, including Austin Mitchell – chair of the NUJ Parliamentary group – and Nottingham MPs Graham Allen, Alan Meal and Alan Simpson joined union leaders in handing in the petition. The politicians have urged culture secretary Tessa Jowell to compel broadcasting regulator Ofcom to intervene.

Pat West, father of the NUJ chapel at ITV Nottingham, said the petition was “an overwhelming message” from the people of the East Midlands.

“They want their own news and studios here in the region – not news broadcast from Birmingham.

“If the Government and ITV won’t listen to the voices of 20,000 people – they will never listen.”

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