Angela Smith MP

Penistone & Stocksbridge

Angela encourages participation in the Churchill Fellowship

The Fellowships were founded as the national memorial to the late Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, and support UK citizens from all backgrounds to travel the world in order to bring back innovative ideas and solutions for UK communities and businesses.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has sent out 5700 Fellows since its inception and plans to send another 150 in 2020 covering the Built environment, education, emergency response, social enterprise, environment and sustainability, healthcare, palliative and end of life care, physical activity, rural living, science and technology and suicide prevention as well as an open category for projects outside these parameters.

Angela commented,

“The UK faces a number of pressing issues today, and the same can be said about every country in the world. Now more than ever it is important to share knowledge and deepen understanding of other approaches to problem-solving in order to develop our own solution. I would encourage anyone interested in pursuing a Churchill Fellowship to get in touch with the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust as soon as possible.”

The closing date for applications is 17th September 2019 for travels in 2020. For more information and to sign up visit www.wcmt.org.uk

 

 

MPs support calls for a shared rural network to improve mobile network

Angela Smith is one of a group of 78 cross-party MPs representing rural constituencies urging the Government to support a proposal by the mobile industry to create a ‘Shared Rural Network’ to extend mobile overage to hard to reach areas.

The MPs have written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, asking him to support the initiative which would significantly improve rural coverage and enhance economic, educational and leisure opportunities in rural areas where, in some cases, there is no coverage at all.

The four Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) put forward a proposal for a ‘Shared Rural Network’ after the MPs called on the Secretary of State to impose compulsory roaming between providers if the industry did not come up with its own solution.

In the letter, they say “Whilst we have previously written to you in support of roaming, we see industry’s proposal for a Shared Rural Network as potentially another effective way of extending mobile coverage and believe it should replace Ofcom’s coverage proposals because, in part, it has the support of all four MNOs. We also see the ask of £620m from the Government to build these masts as better value for taxpayers’ money, when you take into consideration the potential £800m discount Ofcom had planned to offer just two operators at the next auction and would instead urge Government to invest that discount in improving coverage.”

Angela said

“The lack of mobile coverage in some of the most rural parts of Penistone & Stocksbridge will vastly increase operational coverage for many constituents in both their working and home lives. The current inadequate digital connectivity has had a huge impact on growth for the local, regional and national economy and needs to be put right as soon as possible. I welcome these new proposals because it will provide a much-needed solution in a more efficient, more effective and a less environmentally impactful way than current proposals”.

 

The MPs are also supporting the industry’s call for the reform of Permitted Development Rights to allow for taller masts, equivalence in policy with fixed broadband such as business rates relief in line with those for new fixed fibre networks and better access to public sector sites and land.