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Digital switchover example of rural neglect

October 21, 2008 12:00 AM

MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron has warned of the shortcomings of the digital TV switchover, as Ofcom admits around 6 million people in rural areas will get a reduced service.

Digital UK, the agency overseeing the switchover, had announced that many homes in South Lakeland will only receive 19 of the 48 channels available to urban homes.

Following cuts that had already been made by ITV to its regional news and current affairs coverage, Mr Farron has raised concern that this is yet another example of the neglect of rural Britain by the government.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"This announcement is just another example of the neglect of rural Britain shown by this government.

"South Lakeland has suffered cuts to its public transport, post offices, and health services, all of which have been lost to financial cutbacks.

"We now have a two-tier system of services based not on need; but on region. Until this trend is stopped, people in rural communities will continue to be treated as second class citizens."