This week, I met with Arqiva to discuss the ongoing issues with the Bilsdale mast transmitter and subsequent delay to a resolution. Installing a temporary transmitter on the same site was proposed to restore service, but legal issues are causing this to be delayed. As a result, I have contacted the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden and the Minister for Media, John Whittingdale to seek a solution.
I'm grateful to Arqiva for taking the time to meet with me regarding this ongoing issue. It was important to stress that over three weeks is not acceptable for constituents to be left without service. Constituents' concerns largely focussed on the delay as well as Arqiva's communication with constituents without regular internet access, who may not be able to follow online updates. Arqiva has therefore offered to work with local and parish councillors to ensure communications are reaching those constituents without internet access. I have been assured they are working as fast as possible to resolve this, but in the meantime I have raised the issue with the Secretary of State as this cannot continue.
As many people who have been following this issue will be aware, I wrote to the BBC last month regarding TV licence compensation for affected residents. As was announced earlier this week, a partial refund is available and details on how to claim can be found here.
I will continue to be in regular communication with Arqiva and encourages constituents to raise issues with his office.