Bury St Edmunds lays at the centre of East Anglia and is the jewel in the crown of Suffolk. It is important we protect the traditions and uniqueness of country life. I regularly visit our excellent rural centres, farmers and agri-businesses and am committed to bringing people closer to nature.
I have supported the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy and regularly meet with the NFU, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and other local organisations, including working with Bury Water Meadows Group to help them create a new green space and river path. It is vitally important that we preserve our environment for the next generation.
For those who live and work in rural areas, faster speeds are of particular importance. Digital platforms are becoming common place for everything from healthcare to commerce. It is vital our area is not left behind, as better speeds will also help enable more flexible working and service delivery, such as medi-care.
It is fantastic that the Government has outlined plans to roll out 5G in rural communities. Stimulating investment, driving business growth, encouraging innovation and connecting people.
There is also positive news on superfast broadband. Suffolk is six months ahead of schedule to deliver 98% coverage by 2020. The County Council continues to drive take up and is currently at the contract procurement stage to address the final 2% not getting superfast speeds.
I championed broadband when first elected due to its importance in our everyday lives. It is no longer a luxury but a necessity for many people. The progress made over the last four years is positive and I will continue to monitor roll out. I would still however like to see it treated as the fourth utility.