VIEW FROM THE HOUSE
IT was welcome news when Buckinghamshire County Council announced that residents can now get 24 hours of free wi-fi in all our local libraries. An Arts Council grant of £50,000 has made this possible: I hope that it is going to encourage more people to make contact with the council about their services and indeed about many government services too.
Having been away for a short break over Easter I am well aware that these days that you can find yourself in a “not spot” for broadband. Emails follow us everywhere – rather like the seagulls following that famous trawler. How much more infuriating it is, though, when the “not spot” is permanent or speeds are very slow.
In the Chesham & Amersham constituency, despite the best efforts of all of us to try and get the broadband service improved, there are still places where it is impossible to get a strong signal which does not drop out. The same applies to mobile signals. Having a place to go where there is a good broadband connection, like the local library, means that people can get in touch with the services they need.
Recently I was sorry to hear criticism about national library services and that some of this extended to the volunteers who are helping to run community libraries. When I go into the community libraries where I hold open surgeries for constituents, the range of activities there is impressive. The dedication of the volunteers is amazing.
In May I am delighted to be performing the official opening ceremony for the computer suite at the Little Chalfont Community Library. This is a venture where the parish council have made a generous donation towards building an extension and Heart of Bucks has also given grant funding for materials and equipment for the suite. There are 50 volunteers at Little Chalfont and the library was also awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of all that they do.
The new computer suite will make more space in the library for books, which is a win-win situation!
MP for Chesham & Amersham