Digital radio switchover - Farron presses for fair deal for rural areas
Local MP Tim Farron has pressed the government to make sure that rural areas like South Lakeland do not suffer when the radio analogue signal is turned off in 2015.
In parliamentary questions, Mr Farron has called on the government to take into account the fact that people living in hilly parts of the country are much less likely to be able to receive an adequate signal. He also called for financial support to be made available to people who may be forced to purchase expensive new equipment.
The Culture minister, Sion Simon MP replied this week to Mr Farron. He agreed to take into account the needs of rural areas. However, he stopped short of promising financial support for areas where expensive equipment would be needed.
Tim said, "The minister's reply is a bit vague for my liking. Tens of thousands of homes in South Lakeland will see their radios become obsolete overnight, and in much of our area the geography means that getting a signal will be nearly impossible. We need to know that before the government pulls the plug on analogue, local people will still be able to receive radio. While the tone of the ministers reply is encouraging, its content is worryingly thin - people in rural communities like ours need reassurance before this drastic measure is introduced"