Published: Saturday, 24 January 2015 17:12
Hampshire Association of Local Councils
Superfast Broadband Update
Lobbying and pushing for Broadband speeds across all Hampshire as quickly as possible at a minimum of 6meg(allows iplayer) is the current policy position for the ALC, and it is working closely with the HCC lead member, Cllr Gibson on this subject. Board Members understand that it is one of our top three priorities. The latest county position is as below.
HCC has contracted with BT to fund the gap in the rural areas which would otherwise not have been included in the BT SFB roll-out programme. The summary is as follows:
Hampshire summary :
- The County Council’s ambition to extend the availability of superfast broadband matches that of the Government and, using funds from its own resources and several partners, it aims to support the provision of additional fibre-optic infrastructure that can deliver superfast speeds to as many extra premises as possible in areas where commercial provision has not been made.
- Private-sector investment is expected to make broadband services with a speed greater than 14 Mbps available to the majority of business and residential premises in Hampshire. The level of commercial provision is typically described as being in the region of 80% of premises.
- The County Council and its partners are in the process of adding at least 94,000 extra premises to the number able to access superfast broadband in Hampshire. This represents an increase equivalent to more than 15% of residential and business premises and does not include those premises which can connect to the new fibre infrastructure, but which are not guaranteed superfast speeds (i.e. the number of Total Homes Passed or lserved by fibre’)
- The first phase of the programme is making superfast speeds available to some 59,500 premises. Over 65kms of new lspine’ fibre and 60kms of ldistribution’ fibre have been laid so far and Hampshire is currently in the Top
5 of all programmes across the country in terms of the take-up by communities of the extra services that have been provided through public intervention.
· The second contract is due to start delivery in 2016 and will add a further 34,500 premises at superfast speeds. This will extend the availability of high speed broadband services to cover more than 95% of premises in Hampshire.
· A lstatic’ map showing the footprint of phase 2 of the programme was added to the Council’s website on 19th December
· Hampshire attracted additional financial support from two other Government initiatives. The former Rural Communities Broadband Fund (RCBF) has enabled additional communities in the Test Valley and the New Forest to be added to the first phase of our programme; and the Innovation Fund will benefit an area to the south and east of Alresford.
· The County Council’s public-facing website includes a more user friendly map that can be searched by postcode. The data behind that map is being updated to reflect the extra coverage and this will continue to be a particularly useful resource for residents.
· Residents who have registered their interest (and their postcode) with the County Council are e-mailed when superfast services become available in their area and the team has now arranged for individual Members to be alerted when new cabinets in their ward go live.
· At present, the second phase of the programme is projected to finish later than anticipated. In part this reflects the scale and resource requirements of the national project as a whole, but the County Council is working with BT and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Broadband Delivery UK to review the timetable with the aim of bringing the completion date forward.
· Further information about the programme is on Hantsweb and two recent Press Releases summarise the latest position:
Published: Saturday, 24 January 2015 17:10
The Hampshire Association of Local Councils
Social Isolation: Pilot scheme
One of the ALC’s priorities is around social isolation, hence the reason we support the County Village Agent scheme, and now this Social Isolation scheme. We have an aging population, no current ability to ramp up our local government spending on care, and a need to support communities being resilient and sustainable.
Background and Introduction
Whilst there are a number of population groups that are vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness, (e.g. young care-leavers, refugees and those with mental health problems), it is widely-recognised that older people (as individuals as well as carers) often living in rural areas, have specific vulnerabilities owing to loss of friends and family, loss of mobility or loss of income’.
- 20% of the 65+ population are estimated to be mildly lonely’ (48,674 people) - Across Hampshire
- 8-10% of the 65+ population are estimated to be intensely lonely’ (19,470-24,337 people) - Across Hampshire
The impact of social isolation on the individual’s health and well-being has been shown to be significant. Both isolation and loneliness impair quality of life and well-being. However, only social isolation (and not loneliness) has been shown to be associated with increased mortality, through contributing factors such as depression, and an increased risk of nutritional problems.
Proposed project, outcomes and measures
HCC’s proposal is run 3 pilot projects focused on understanding and addressing social isolation among older people in different rural locations. Key indicators of Social Isolation which underpinned the choice of the 3 areas. One of those areas is Stockbridge. The pilot will run for 12 months will be judged against a series of outcomes and benefit measures to be agreed in detail at the outset. Examples of these may be:
- Reduction in reported feelings of isolation
- Reported improvement in diet
- Ability to use Skype to contact a relative
- Increase in attendance at events outside the home
- Increased contact with one or more of family, friends, local groups.
Selection criteria for the pilot will include factors such as:
- Living alone
- Recent bereavement
- No personal transport or easy local access
- Recent Fall
- No local family/friends or regular contact with those living further away
- Not attending any local groups or amenities regularly
The explicit objective of the proposed pilot is to proactively identify and target those individuals who are currently most at risk from the impact of social isolation. The aim then is to support them to re-engage with family and friends with whom they may have lost touch and with their local community or with one of the many communities of interest to be found online.
It is understood that Age Concern Hampshire currently offers computer training in rural areas. It is a service valued by many over 50’s [to whom the service is targeted] who are able to benefit from their computer classes for a small donation of £4.50 per session. However the current configuration of the Age Concern service is not explicitly targeting those older people who are socially isolated, or trying to address and resolve the issues of social isolation.
It will be important to create a sustainable solution that continues to deliver benefits for those involved beyond the duration of the pilots. Hence the pilots will seek to engage with CCG’s, the Local Surgery, local agencies and charitable groups that can both assist in the pilots and maintain an involvement after they conclude. We also recognise the vital part that local elected members can play in both helping to ensure that the pilots are focused on the most appropriate people within each community and on sharing the lessons across the wider community. Hence we will keep members informed and involved throughout.
Estimated Pilot Costings
- A grant has been allocated to the project and will be circa £22.5K
- HCC Adult Services in collaboration with key agents identified from the local communities concerned will develop the project delivery plans for
each pilot at its initiation. This will include the detailed work required to configure each pilot, the technical due diligence on which type of tablet device will be most appropriate and how this will be configured. It will also include detailed analysis of the most appropriate commercial
I hope councils will agree that this pilot has much merit, that this type of work is an area where local councils can make positive input as with the Village Agent scheme, and will follow it with interest.