WISHART BACKS CALLS FOR UK GOVERNMENT TO “PLAY ITS PART” IN ADDRESSING RURAL MOBILE PHONE “NOT-SPOTS”
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The Scottish National Party’s Mr Pete Wishart MP, Member of Parliament for Perth & North Perthshire, has welcomed calls by the National Farmers Union of Scotland for the UK to “play its part” in ensuring all regions of Scotland have access to adequate mobile phone services.
Speaking today (Wednesday) Mr Wishart said:
“I welcome the comments by the NFUS in their response to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s consultation on tackling ‘not spots’ in mobile phone coverage, in which they make it plain that, from ‘a rural community perspective, a positive response from the UK Government’ is required in addressing issues with mobile phone coverage.
“An important issue that the NFUS raises is the need for targets on coverage to be set at a local rather than a national level. There is absolutely no doubt – and for understandable reasons – that rural areas are far more likely to be missing out and that the figure of more than 20% of land mass of the UK which is affected by ‘partial not-spots’ will be almost entirely rural.
“There are, as the Farmers’ Union points out very important reasons – both in terms of the economy and health and safety – why the problems with mobile phone coverage needs to be addressed and if progress is to be properly assessed, without rural areas being left out on the margins once more, then concentrating solely on national targets will simply not do the job.
“I am happy to echo the concerns that the NFUS have expressed about mobile phone coverage and the need for the UK Government to play its part in addressing the issues involved.”