MARTIN DOCHERTY-HUGHES MP TO HOST PUBLIC MEETING ON BROADBAND

MP for West Dunbartonshire Martin-Docherty-Hughes will be hosting a public meeting in Gartocharn this month to discuss broadband provision in the village.

The meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Monday 13 February at Kilmaronock Millennium Hall and will be attended by representatives from BT, Digital Scotland, Community Broadband Scotland and Kilmaronock Community Trust.

The event follows a survey of local residents and businesses carried by Martin Docherty-Hughes MP seeking views on broadband services in Gartocharn. The results of the survey indicate that a majority of people in the village are experiencing difficulties in accessing fast and reliable internet services.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“Having access to fast and reliable broadband is important. I was concerned to be told by a number of residents and businesses in Gartocharn about poor broadband services in the village which is why I wanted to arrange this meeting to highlight these difficulties to providers.

“I’d like to thank those who took the time to respond to my survey. We received a fantastic response, with the majority respondents telling me that they are experiencing difficulties with accessing fast and reliable broadband.

“The Scottish Government has committed to ensuring that 100% of homes and businesses in Scotland will have access to superfast broadband by 2021. However, the response I received from Gartocharn residents shows there is still work to be done to improve local broadband provision in the village.

“The public meeting at Kilmaronock Millennium Hall will be a good opportunity to discuss local broadband services, and I hope to see a good turnout of local residents on the evening of 13 February.

“I also want to hear from people in other parts of West Dunbartonshire if they are experiencing broadband problems and would encourage anyone having difficulties to get in touch on martin.docherty.mp@parliament.uk or 0141 952 2988.”

Steve Macken, Director of Kilmaronock Community Trust, said:

“The provision of fast, reliable broadband is becoming as essential as the supply of clean water and electricity to our homes and businesses, and we welcome Martin’s support in highlighting the frustrations of Gartocharn residents who experience a poor service in many parts of the village.

“Gartocharn is a rural community and has a thriving local economy with many small businesses and farms as well as households which have an increasing demand for faster and more reliable broadband. At the same time, local residents find themselves paying the same for poor service as our neighbours just a few miles away for superfast fibre service. This is not only unfair, but increasingly damaging and prejudicial to our local economic development opportunities.

“We therefore look forward to the event on 13th February and encourage all local residents and businesses to come along to highlight their concerns and learn about superfast broadband plans for the village.”