Better broadband rollout will deliver speeds you'd expect
- Credit: Simon Jupp MP
This week, Members of Parliament have been reflecting on the loss of one of our best and a truly dear colleague.
Sir David Amess was a kind, considerate and caring colleague. He went out of his way to make new colleagues feel welcome and he set an example to us all. The cheeky smile you’ve seen in pictures was evident every time we met, and all the tributes speak for themselves. My thoughts are with his wife, children, friends and staff at this difficult time.
I returned to Parliament this week as the annual conference recess ended and MPs travelled back to Westminster.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that it was an opportunity to take a few weeks off, but I was still holding weekly surgeries, meeting people and attending events. For me, recess is a bit like the half-term breaks that teachers supposedly get. As any teacher will tell you, the work continues regardless.
I did take the opportunity to attend the annual Conservative Party conference in Manchester. I used it as a way to meet with train operators, the NFU and Openreach amongst many others.
It was good to meet with Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, after a few months of successful negotiation to help an East Devon community get better broadband. After the initial rollout, part of Tipton St John was left without the benefit of proper broadband and after working with local residents, they will very soon have the broadband speeds you’d expect.
I was also pleased to see Openreach engineers in Newton Poppleford after a recent reminder to the company. The faded Openreach signs promising better broadband dotted around the village have lingered around longer than expected.
I also met with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 at the party conference. As a former BBC and ITV journalist and manager, it was good to see former colleagues. However, it certainly wasn’t just a social occasion. I’m grateful that fellow MPs recently elected me to the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Select Committee which scrutinises the work of the government and industry on issues ranging from tourism to the rollout of super-fast broadband and the role of public service broadcasting.
The latter is particularly poignant at the moment as the government considers the future of the BBC and Channel 4. Public service broadcasting is a distinctly British way of producing programming which challenges, provokes and explores the issues which face our country.
I’m looking forward to being part of the DCMS Select Committee and alongside my role on the Transport Select Committee, I’ll continue to bang the drum for East Devon and the South West.