Oh dear, Councillor Diviani fell at the first hurdle on this one! And very interesting that the very first time EDDC threatens to go to LGO, it’s about the Blackdown Hills!
“NEARLY 40 parishes on the Blackdown Hills which came together to call for fast, modern, internet connections are to launch an appeal after it was rejected by the Government.
A bid by a consortium of 39 parishes in the Blackdown Hills Parish Network (BHPN) in Devon and Somerset to bring fast, modern, internet connections to isolated rural communities has been rejected at first assessment and without discussion, by government.
In a letter to Sajid Javid MP and his South West Growth Team, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (previously Greg Clark MP), the group said: “This would have brought major benefits to small businesses in the area.”
The consortium argue that rural productivity, isolation and access to services including health care could all be improved by the project in parishes that the government’s own statistics show has some of the worst deprivation in the country for access to housing and services.
The group pointed out that Prime Minister Theresa May was breaking her own promise to create a country that “works for every one of us” saying that broadband has not worked for many in the rural Blackdown Hills for years.
An appeal has now been made directly to Sajid Javid, with the support of local MPs Neil Parish and Rebecca Pow and if the application is not reconsidered, it is planned also to appeal to the Local Government Ombudsman.
East Devon District Council who are the BHPN’s Delivery Partner for the project have described rejection of the bid without due consideration as a disgrace and are also making their views known directly to the Minister.
Heather Stallard, Chair of the Blackdown Hills Parish Network said “If Mrs May means what she says, then we hope that the new Minister for Communities and Local Government will reconsider our outline application.”