Many of you across Ashfield and Eastwood will be aware that I have been working tirelessly to improve mobile phone signal across the constituency. I have been contacted by hundreds of people in the Skegby area who are struggling to get a decent phone signal. This is just not good enough.
Many people rely on phone signal to get help at times of emergency, perhaps when working from home, or maybe when you just want to have a chat with a friend or family member. This should not be a difficult thing to do.
I have been in touch with many of you experiencing this problem. I recently visited Daniel Holmes at his home in Skegby who has been struggling to get decent phone signal for nearly 4 years since moving to the area. He has gone through 3 different phone providers and still cannot get good signal in his own home without standing in his garage. He explained how this is especially frustrating when all he wants to do his check in with elderly relatives and make sure they are safe and well.
I also paid a visit to Alan and Pauline. Alan is 82 years old, and his phone should act as a lifeline for him, but he can never get signal. I made a promise to Alan that I will not rest until he and everyone else affected gets the phone signal they deserved.
To try and resolve this, so far, I met with Vodaphone who have since confirmed that they have boosted the masts and tilted the antenna covering the Skegby area. I am pleased to hear that customers should start to notice an improvement in their signal.
I have also been in contact with Three Mobile who are looking to start work on their system shortly and have advised that they will know more information in a couple of weeks’ time.
I am also pleased that this Friday, I have meetings with the Chief Executives of 02, Virgin Mobile and EE. I will be pressing them for answers and solutions to the poor service customers in Ashfield and Eastwood have been experiencing and will not rest until each and every one of you has a phone signal you know you can rely on.
Elsewhere in Ashfield, I visited residents who received an unwelcome service to their private property from Ashfield District Council.
Out the back of their properties, ADC instructed contractors to knock trees down for a new development, with a stream acting as a natural barrier to the homes and gardens that already exist. Despite protests and complaints from residents, these contractors cut down trees on these residents’ private property.
Quite frankly, this is criminal damage and I have told the residents to report this criminal activity to the police. This is unacceptable from ADC and I believe these residents deserve an apology.
Rest assured I am on the side of these residents and I will be taking this up with the Council.