27/06/08 MP Rosie takes digital TV battle to the top
WEST Lancs MP Rosie Cooper has won backing for her digital TV campaign from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Andy Burnham MP said will be paying close attention to the situation in West Lancs, and in particular Skelmersdale where there are fears that thousands of homes could be hit by a TV blackout when the town goes digital next year.
His comments came following a question put to him by Labour MP Rosie during a debate in the House of Commons this week.
Rosie asked: “Can the Secretary of State assure me that people in West Lancashire – including Skelmersdale where there appears to be a problem – will be able to go on receiving television programmes after the analogue signal is switched off next year?”
In reply, Andy Burnham, who is MP for Leigh, near Wigan, said: “Ofcom has required that a new relay transmitter to serve the town must be built and operational before switchover in the Granada area late in 2009.
“I understand that the process is likely to be completed as planned, subject to the availability of a suitable site, local planning permission and the allocation of suitable frequencies.
“I assure my Hon Friend that I will pay the closest possible attention to the issue, and will ensure that her constituents benefit from switchover when the time comes.”
Following the debate, Rosie said: “I was really pleased with the assurances given to me by the Secretary of State.
“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 put pressure on Ofcom to ensure that they take the necessary steps 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.”