What a wonderful example of respectful conversation, good work.
My point about this being what the BBC is there for is not to undermine local broadcasting, it is to enhance it. As far as I'm concerned, local is a huge opportunity for the BBC, because there's nothing more public service in this era when commercial broadcasters are after scale (because the market is utterly fragmented).
My logic's quite simple. If commercial broadcasters want to network everything from London and fail to provide local content then fine. But they should concede the path for the BBC to fill that gap. Hyper-local websites, more local television, local radio stations that serve everyone over 35 (with a new national service spun-off from Radio 2 for over-65s - because as it stands the BBC just shunts older people into the local radio bracket because they don't have another station for them), the works. Radiocentre can sod off and local papers will be dead in 10 years anyway.
Now obviously this comes from a position of best case scenario, and the BBC is as prone to budget cutbacks as everyone else. But even if basic constraints were removed from the BBC and they were allowed to provide a local radio service which encouraged personalities backed up with a fantastic news service, that would be better than trying to force local TV operators into doing their piss-poor publicly funded one hour a night.
[[Mod note: Quoted post has since been edited by mod, hopefully we can all now be civil to each other going forward.]]