Alex Cunningham today welcomed news from British Telecom (BT) that works to upgrade facilities in part of his Stockton North constituency have finally taken a step forward with the first homes finally being connected to the network.
Residents on the newly-built Elms Estate have suffered from a lack of access to basic telephony services since their properties were constructed. Whilst Alex has been in constant discussions with BT and other connected organisations, progress has been frustratingly slow.
However, having demanded that Ian Livingston, Chief Executive of the BT Group, take an interest in the matter, Alex welcomed news this week that the obstructions have now been cleared and the necessary cabling has been laid – paving the way for full connectivity across the Elms Estate.
“The pace of progress with this matter has been painstaking and I remain disappointed that a solution to the issue could not be found sooner. Time and again, unforeseen problems were encountered that delayed services being provided.
“Had provision been properly planned before homes were built, and prior to other utility services being installed, my constituents would not have been left without one of the essential components of modern life. I know many residents depend on connectivity for their businesses, and it is unacceptable that such errors can be made in this day and age.
“The example of the Elms Estate highlights the need for developers, utility service providers, and local authorities to work closely to ensure that such details are properly handled throughout the planning process, ensuring that any problems are identified and corrected prior to construction.
“I am equally disappointed that this situation was allowed to rumble on for so long prior to my being made aware, and that ownership of the underlying problem was not accepted until a Member of Parliament became involved.”