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Cabinet de-shuffle angers Richmond councillors
Richmond Council has expressed dismay at Government proposals to allow the installation of large broadband cabinets on the borough’s roads without local authority approval.
Councillors were concerned at Culture Minister Maria Miller’s announcement of proposed changes to the UK’s broadband policy, which aim to speed up the deployment of super-fast broadband across the country.
The removal of any planning control was intended to speed up the process of providing super-fast broadband by allowing internet service providers to install street cabinets up to 6ft without asking approval.
The council said it was particularly worried the cabinets’ appearance would damage the historic townscape.
Councillor Virginia Morris, cabinet member for environment at the council, said: “If the Government’s plans go ahead, local authorities could be bypassed completely in the decision-making process.
“This means local people will not have the opportunity to oppose the sites on which these commercial broadband boxes will be positioned. Consulting the public and seeking their views is an essential part of being in a democratic society.
“To take this away from people in our borough is a gross removal of rights.”