On Tuesday 2, the Government announced a new task force to help revitalise high streets and town centres. The High Streets Task Force will be comprised of experts who will provide tailored guidance and advice to local authorities as they battle against changing consumer habits. Elsewhere, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP delivered a speech at the Local Government Association’s Annual Conference. In the House of Lords, Peers debated the provision of GP services in rural areas. There was concern about a move to digital NHS services because of the inadequate provision of 4G and broadband in many rural areas.
On Wednesday 3, the Government published its response to the Lords Rural Economy Report which called for a rural strategy.
On Thursday 4, Daniel Kawczynski MP questioned the Digital Minister on her work to increase access to broadband in rural areas. She said that the Government has met its target and now provides superfast coverage to 97 per cent of premises.
On Friday 5, High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP announced that over 50 areas across the UK have received the second phase of funding to help transform high streets. The announcement of funding was part of the second Great British High Street Week.
On Tuesday 9, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee hears evidence on the implications of the Waste Strategy for Local Authorities. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will also give evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee on the work of his department. In the House of Lords, Peers will debate how to ensure that rural post offices are able to continue and extend the services they provide. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Community Transport will hold its AGM.
On Wednesday 10, the Treasury Committee will hold evidence to hear about the impact of business rates on businesses, later the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) hears evidence from the Digital Minister Margot James and other witnesses on rural broadband and digital-only services. The EFRA Committee has previously outlined that 41 per cent of rural premises have good indoor 4G coverage on all four main mobile network operators compared with 77 per cent nationally.
On Thursday 11, MPs will debate closures of public libraries.
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