Campaigning for superfast broadband

BT's broadband service. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
BT's broadband service. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

It was good to see local schools at Lancashire School’s Fairtrade Conference where seven to 11-year-olds came together to learn about Fairtrade and how this benefits producers globally.

It was good to see local schools at Lancashire School’s Fairtrade Conference where seven to 11-year-olds came together to learn about Fairtrade and how this benefits producers globally.

Cat Smith

Cat Smith

I should make a special mention to Margaret Rand who played a huge role in organising this event - the first of its kind in Lancashire. I was very pleased to be able to speak about my own journey from campaigning for Fairtrade products to be sold at my college tuck shop to MP and parliamentary advocate for fairer trade deals.

Back in Lancaster, I hosted a meeting with representatives from BT Openreach and residents from the Highgrove Estate who have been campaigning for superfast broadband. We were thrilled to hear BT confirm this is now - finally - in their commercial roll out plan.

This is a example of a community campaign winning real change so well done and thank you to everyone who has got us this far - the work isn’t over yet though. I will be holding BT’s toes to the fire ensuring this is delivered and, rest assured, I won’t be happy until residents are happily streaming Netflix/iPlayer while Skyping their friends...

We are celebrating 100 years of Cub Scouts so I joined local Cubs at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and was more than happy to be helpful to local seven-year-old Mikey when he wasn’t quite tall enough to ride Avalanche without an adult. Any excuse to ride a rollercoaster, it’s all in the duty of being a good local MP isn’t it!

Finally, I am shocked by the news from the Post Office that they are looking to tender out the Crown Post Office in Lancaster. I have met union representatives and the Post Office to find out more and make the case in defence of the service we currently have. At the time of writing, the Post Office has been unable to answer some of my questions relating to the financial performance of the office and what support staff are getting but I will be continuing to speak with management and staff about these issues.

I am organising a public meeting in the city where I hope to be joined by the Post Office, the Communication Workers’ Union and local workers so you can find out more.