I FEEL compelled to respond to Christopher Trebble's call to scrap the licence fee ('Change BBC', Postbag, June 13).

The UK came out top of the Portland Global Soft Power index of 2018, and the BBC is an important part of that international influence and renown.

As we leave the EU, torpedoing that institution would be foolhardy at best.

The value of a broadcaster independent of commercial and political influence should not be understated.

When those on the left say it's biased to the right, and those on the right say it's biased to the left, it's probably doing a pretty good job.

This independent voice also acts as a centre-point helping keep any biases of other broadcasters and news outlets relatively in check compared with some other countries.

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Finally, the licence fee allows the BBC to offer a broader range of programming, covering myriad important issues and relevant to more people.

The alternative is being limited to whatever Netflix and Amazon decide will give the greatest income from ads or subscribers.

There's a place for that of course, but our choice of what to watch will be greatly reduced without the BBC.

Mr Trebble encourages people to write to their MP on this matter. I'd encourage the same, but in defence of the BBC.

Norton Fitzwarren