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Posted: Thu, 20 Jan 2022 08:30 by Fiona Keppel-Spoor
A vacancy has arisen for a Parish Councillor for Aston on Trent.
Please see the attached notice for details of how to apply in the first instance.
Posted: Wed, 24 Nov 2021 14:15 by Fiona Keppel-Spoor
At the August 2021 Parish Council Meeting, a new resident voiced concerns regarding the annoying issue of poor/non-existent mobile phone signal in the village. This was supported by an eighty strong petition and the resident requested the support of the Parish Council. Other residents have been working on this problem over the last two years.
Highlighted by the isolation experienced during the pandemic, mobile phones have become an essential part of everyday life, affecting everything we do from shopping, banking, communicating with loved ones and colleagues; to summoning help in an emergency. They have become the life blood of the rural community. However, since their fantastic invention, the village has suffered from poor to non-existent mobile reception. Using the latest phone or changing network provider, the result is always the same – a poor, unreliable signal which is not fit for purpose. When challenged, network providers fail to acknowledge that there are any mobile signal problems in Aston on Trent and are quoted as saying "the signal strength is quite adequate in your area. You are the only one to complain. We have no record from any other customer regarding this type of problem". More »
Mobile phones receive their 3G and 4G radio signals from a radio mast. The nearest radio mast to Aston is at Hilltop Farm, 2.5 miles away and the signal has to travel across various stretches of water. Unfortunately water deflects radio signals and in addition, geographically, the village lies in a dip.
There are 4 main mobile network providers who own, and are responsible for, the various masts. EE (also known as BT), O2, Vodafone and Three UK. At present, each is responsible for supplying their own masts and network. For many years the government has agreed that electronic communication should be available to all and in March 2020 the government announced that all 4 operators had agreed to deliver a shared rural network (SRN) to significantly improve the mobile signer in rural areas. The scheme involves the reciprocal sharing of existing masts in certain areas and the demand-led building and sharing of masts in others between the operators. The SRN is a £1 billion public and private investment programme that will deliver new mobile coverage to 95% of rural areas across the UK by 2026. A company called Digital Mobile Spectrums Ltd (DMS) are the organisation running the SRN programme. The operators have to identify where they wish to install additional masts to DMS who co-ordinate.
Operators are now promoting and advertising 5G, which will not replace 3G and 4G, but will enhance download speed. Presently, 5G masts are being rolled out across the country in densely populated areas and will not become live until 2022. One of the providers, Three UK, has recently made an application to SDDC Planning Department to install a 5G mast adjacent to London Road, Shardlow - unfortunately, this is too far away to benefit Aston on Trent.
On behalf of the village, a letter was sent to Heather Wheeler (MP) who then wrote to OFCOM. She received a letter from Dame Melanie Dawes , CEO OFCOM which indicated that the SRN project was progressing, and for the public to contact Digital Mobile Spectrum Ltd directly as they have been appointed as co-ordinator of the project. They were contacted in September 2020 and again this month, however, they are still awaiting the results of a survey from the operators and haven't a timescale when they will receive them. It is estimated that Aston on Trent, collectively, are home to circa 3000 active mobile phones. The majority, if not all, users are dissatisfied with the fact they cannot be used effectively in the village. There needs to be a concerted effort for each phone owner to complaint directly to their mobile network provider. That complaint will have to recorded, making Aston a priority area for installing a mast. Failure to report could mean that Aston never gets the long-awaited improvement it deserves.
There is now a plan in place to pool resources within the village and canvas every home in Aston to augment and add to the original survey.
Leaflets will be distributed via The Acorn and the problem highlighted on social media giving guidance on how mobile phone owners can contact their provider to make them aware of our localised problem. To reinforce the importance of this project, the backing of the Parish Council was respectfully requested. » Less
Posted: Wed, 24 Nov 2021 13:59 by Fiona Keppel-Spoor
Aston on Trent Parish Council will switch on the Christmas Lights on Sunday 28th November (first Sunday of Advent) at 6pm on the Village Green. All are welcome to attend, please ensure you stay on the pavements as we are unable to facilitate a road closure at this time.
This years Christmas tree has been donated by Mr & Mrs Adams of Derby Road, Aston and our thanks are extended to them most sincerely for such a lovely gesture to all of the residents of the village.