Member of Parliament for
Brigg & Goole and the
Isle of Axholme

Andrew Percy MP

Shared Rural Network Question and Brexit Intervention

Shared Rural Network Question and Brexit Intervention

Andrew spoke in the Chamber yesterday during questions to the Secretary of State on the Shared Rural Network initiative, along with making an intervention during the Early General Election debate.

Shared Rural Network

The Shared Rural Network initiative is a partnership between the Government and the UK’s mobile network operators to bring 4G coverage to 95% of the UK by 2025. The goal of this initiative is to improve poor mobile coverage in remote and rural areas.

Mobile network operators (EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three) will provide £530 million for the Shared Rural Network, which will be matched by a £500 million investment from the Government.

Existing and new phone masts and infrastructure will be utilized by all four operators, allowing customers of all networks to access the best signal available. This will provide additional mobile coverage for 280,000 premises and 16,000 kilometres of roads.

During Andrew’s question, he mentioned EE’s recent improvements in our area and urged the Secretary of State to look into the inaccurate maps provided by networks, along with asking her to look at local authorities offering their facilities to the network operators.

You can Andrew’s question and the Secretary of State’s response below.


Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con)

I regularly survey my constituents in Brigg and Goole and the Isle of Axholme on this and produce a network by network, geographically located report. EE has been very good in responding to those surveys. A new mast in Broughton will come online on 5 November as a result of that, and changes are also being made to a mast in Reedness, so there is some good news. However, it is clear from my surveying of constituents that the maps provided by the networks do not have a great deal of reality compared with what my constituents are experiencing. May I urge the Secretary of State to look at that? Will she also look at local authorities offering up their facilities? One of my local authorities, North Lincolnshire Council, did that, but not a single one of the networks took it up on that offer.

Nicky Morgan

My hon. Friend makes a good point about maps. That is really important. Now that the mobile network operators are working together, it will hopefully be easier to get that information, so that our constituents will be able to see the progress that is being made. He talks encouragingly about the two masts and the changes already happening in his constituency. In relation to local authorities, we are working with the Cabinet Office and having conversations to make sure that local authority infrastructure such as hospitals and schools can also be used to increase and improve connectivity in these communities.


Brexit Intervention

Andrew also made an intervention during the Early General Election debate yesterday, to speak on the 2016 referendum and the huge local vote to leave the EU.

You can read a transcript of Andrew’s intervention below.


Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con)

Every constituency in my region voted at the 2016 referendum by a huge margin to leave the European Union. At that time, lots of my constituents, in some of the most deprived communities of this country, told me that they did not trust this Parliament to deliver it. They said, “We won’t get it. They’ll never let us leave.” The five Conservatives out of the 10 MPs in my region might have voted to deliver Brexit, but is not the truth of it that the Labour MPs across my region, bar one or two examples, are never going to vote to leave the European Union, sadly proving right my constituents who said, “They’ll never let us leave”?


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