16/10/08 MP secures ministerial talks over TV switchover
WEST Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has secured a meeting with the Culture Secretary Andy Burnham MP following claims that thousands of people could be left without a TV signal as part of the digital switchover.
The offer of a meeting was made after Rosie raised the issue in a debate in the House of Commons last week.
Rosie Cooper said: “It seems ludicrous in the digital age that some people in West Lancashire could be left without a signal, so I’m pleased to have secured a meeting with the Secretary of State about this issue.
“I’ve been working with residents on the problems which Skelmersdale has with TV signals for a while, from the issues with the old communal aerial and the fact that in certain parts of town the quality of coverage is not up to scratch.
“I’ve held meetings with the industry regulator Ofcom and written to DigitalUK about TV coverage in Skelmersdale both before and after the switchover. They have promised a new transmitter but there’s no guarantee it will be ready for the switchover.
“The fact that many people could be left without access to programmes following the switchover next year is totally unacceptable.
“I am grateful for the Secretary of State’s offer of a meeting. He understands the importance of this and I am looking forward to talks taking place as soon as possible. I shall be arguing the point I made in the House in that if huge numbers will not be able to access a TV signal following the switchover then arguably it should not take place until a satisfactory solution has been found.
“The advent of digital TV means an exciting new era of broadcasting is in the offing and I want everyone in West Lancashire to be able to enjoy it.
“I will continue to fight to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to ensure local people can continue enjoying their favourite programmes after 2009, and that there is a consistency of service right across West Lancashire during the switchover period.”