Saturday, 23 October 2010

Bad TV Reception Raised in Parliament by Laura Sandys MP

Last night, Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, held an important constructive adjournment debate in Parliament with the Minister for Digital Switchover, to discuss the Government’s plans to ensure adequate television coverage in Thanet.

Laura explained: “I was very pleased that the Minister and his officials are spending so much time examining the problems that we face in Thanet with our TV reception.

“The Minister, who knows Ramsgate well having spent years visiting his Aunt and Uncle, now recognises the challenges we face in securing adequate signal.

“We in Thanet no longer want to be left at the end of the line or without signal. It is vital that our reception improves so that TV license payers get the service they need and pay for. ”

Laura pressed the Minister on what could be done now to support local residents to receive better television and radio coverage and to outline what would happen following digital switchover. She argued that one of the biggest challenges was to find a site for an additional TV mast in the Broadstairs area. With a suitable site then the Government will commit to investing in improving our reception.

The Minister praised Laura for taking the matter of poor TV reception in Thanet so seriously and stated: “We want as many people as possible to have access to a service which the vast majority of the population enjoy.

“I know that Ofcom is taking her concerns seriously, and earlier this week it carried out specific signal quality testing in the area...this will enable Ofcom to record the strength and robustness of analogue signals.”

Laura pushed the Government to finalise their assessment of the existing reception and to develop a clear strategy for the next few years. To discuss the options further The Minister agreed to meet in Thanet with Laura and his officials to discuss the options further.

To close, Laura joked with the Minister that if Thanet’s reception woes were not resolved, she would personally force him to join her and local residents during the World Cup in 2014 for an evening of “popcorn, moonscape and French radio” rather than exciting penalties and red-cards.

Hansard Link to the Debate:

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