The Post recently launched a campaign calling for half of the £942 million-a-year invested in the BBC through licence fees from this region to be returned here.
Key to investment in the region is commissioning – Top Gear and The Archers are examples of shows previously commissioned here which went on to success – but that would be unlikely now because of a paucity of commissioners.
Speaking in the House of Commons , Ms Stuart (Lab Edgbaston) said it was a key first step to redressing an imbalance which sees £12.40 per licence fee-payer invested in the Midlands compared to more than £750 in London.
She said: “There is an extraordinary mismatch between the amount of money raised by the licence fee and the BBC’s investment in the regions in which it is raised.
“May we have a debate on making it part of the charter negotiations that regional commissioners of programmes be matched to their areas, so that areas such as Birmingham and the Midlands can get a fair share of the money raised?”
With the BBC’s charter up for renewal next year, the Birmingham Post and sister newspaper the Mail – backed by industry leaders and MPs of the three main parties – has made a series of demands including calling for at least 50 per cent of funds raised through the licence fee in this region to be spent here.
They include ensuring commissioning returns to the region.
The BBC’s expenditure in the Midlands – which includes the West and East Midlands and the East – is less than the £89 million the BBC spends on one building – its Broadcasting House headquarters in London.
In response to Mrs Stuart, William Hague, leader of the House of Commons, said: “I absolutely agree that investment in the regions is vital and that the BBC has a varied record over the past few decades of doing it.
“The chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee made a statement to the House a few weeks ago about the future funding of the BBC, so the House had a limited opportunity to consider the matter then. Realistically, further consideration will have to await the new Parliament.”
The Midlands is the only UK region outside the capital where spending has fallen in the past five years – from £100 million a year to £80 million.
The BBC has outlined plans to shift about 190 jobs to its Mailbox offices , which will mean an additional investment of £23.5 million over three years.