British Broadcasting Corporation Room BC2 A4 Broadcast Centre White City Wood Lane London W12 7TP
Telephone 020 8008 2882 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Stewart email@example.com
9 October 2019
Dear Mr Stewart Freedom of Information request – RFI20191448
Thank you for your request to the BBC of 9th September 2019 seeking the following information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (I have numbered the different parts of your request
for ease of reference):
“(1) Can you advise when the tv license changes come in effect in June 2020, will the
concessionary license for sheltered housing and residential care homes still be able to be claimed,
and (2) when was this scheme introduced and (3) and if you hold a lists of the premises covered
by the concessionary criteria can you provide a list of those sheltered housing units and care homes
within South Ayrshire who are registered on the scheme”
Please note that “TV Licensing” is a trade mark used by companies contracted by the BBC to
administer the collection of television licence fees and enforcement of the television licensing
system. The majority of the administration of TV Licensing is contracted to Capita Business
Services Ltd (‘Capita’). Over-the-counter services are provided by PayPoint plc (‘PayPoint’) in the
UK, and by the Post Office in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. Target Group (‘Target’) is the
supplier for the Simple Payment Plan trial. Marketing and printing services are contracted to
Proximity London Ltd. Media services are contracted to Media Planning Limited trading as Havas
Media UK. The BBC is a public authority in respect of its television licensing functions and retains
Firstly, I should explain that the Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded
information held by public authorities. We are not required to create new information to respond
to a request, or give a judgement or opinion that is not already recorded.
By way of background, the requirement to hold a TV Licence and to pay a fee for it is mandated
by law under the Communications Act 2003 and Communications (Television Licensing)
Regulations 2004 (as amended). The provision of Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC)
concessionary licences is governed by this legislation.
The ARC licence will not be affected by the changes being made to the government funded, free
over 75 TV Licence scheme on 1 June 2020. This is subject to any changes the Secretary of State
may make in the future.
Generally, the legal framework for television licensing remains the responsibility of the UK
Government, but under amendments to the 2003 Act made in 2017, the BBC has power to
establish age-related TV licence fee concessions, and as you will be aware, this power has been
exercised. The BBC Board decided that any household with someone aged over 75 who receives
Pension Credit will be eligible for a free TV licence funded by the BBC in respect of their sole or
main residence. However, the relevant legislation specifically excludes from the BBC’s power any
authority to make changes to the ARC scheme: see sections 365(5B) and 365A(3)(b). The specific
provisions of the ARC concessionary licence therefore remain a matter for the responsible
government department; which is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at 100
Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ.
Recorded information relevant to this request is available in the explanatory note attached to the
BBC Determination on the Age-Related TV Licence Fee Concession which is published on the
BBC website at the following web-link: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/reports/consultation/age/determination.pdf.
Please be advised that the BBC took over responsible for collecting and enforcing the TV Licence
fee in 1991. Since the operation of the ARC concessionary licences scheme predates the BBC’s
responsibility for the licence fee, we do not hold the information requested. However, under our
duty to advise and assist you, a House of Commons research paper on concessionary TV Licences
published in 2000 is readily available in the public domain and you may find this helpful. It is can be
accessed at the following web-link: https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/RP00-82
Whilst we may hold recorded information relevant to your request, TV Licensing does not divulge
licensing details which are not otherwise accessible elsewhere. We consider that the information
you have requested (unless released into the public domain by the sheltered housing units and
care homes themselves) is exempt from disclosure under section 41 of the Act, which applies to
information provided in confidence. In addition, we also consider that some of the information
constitutes personal data and is therefore exempt under section 40(2) of the Act.
If you are not satisfied that we have complied with the Act in responding to your request, you
have the right to an internal review by a BBC senior manager or legal adviser. Please contact us at
the address above, explaining what you would like us to review and including your reference
number. A request for an internal review must be made within 40 working days of receiving the
BBC’s response to your original request.
If you are not satisfied with the internal review, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner.
The contact details are: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, Tel: 0303 123 1113 or see https://ico.org.uk/.
Rupinder Panesar Freedom of Information Advisor, TV Licensing Management Team