Cumbrian MP Jamie Reed has been appointed chairman of the newly formed all-party parliamentary Digital Switchover Group. Reed's Copeland constituency includes Whitehaven, which will lead the UK's switch to digital-only television next autumn, ahead of the remaining Border region in 2008. The rest of the UK will complete switchover on a region-by-region basis by the end of 2012.
Reed yesterday took part in the second reading of the Digital Switchover Bill (Disclosure of Information), which will make it legal for the Department for Work and Pensions, its Northern Ireland equivalent, and the Veterans Agency, to share social security and war pensions details with the BBC during the switchover programme.
Reed told MPs he was proud his constituency was "in the vanguard" of digital switchover and said turning off analogue transmitters would end the "scandal" of his constituents paying for digital TV services through their licence fee that they could not receive.
"In my view this is a long standing disgrace and a genuine case of social injustice which I'm delighted to say will soon be at an end," said Reed, elected Labour MP for Copeland in the 2005 general election.
Lovelace Consulting | 19.12.2006