Our Eden Valley – Big Society, Localism and Better Communications

—————- Press Release begins———————————————–

Our Eden Valley – Big Society, Localism and Better Communications

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at seven o’clock at Morland Village Hall

This will be the first ever gathering of Parish leaders and residents under one roof to interactively explore our collective aspirations for better communications and networking in the picturesque Leith-Lyvennet area of our Eden Valley, Cumbria.

Let’s just hope that Morland Village Hall’s roof will be broad enough, because Big Society is, by definition very inclusive – and it will be gathered there with unified purpose – we’d like to set up a better communications infrastructure for our families, farms and local businesses, for our schools and for our social groups, for finding out what’s going on and what’s available locally, for organising our socials and for transportation sharing, for coordinating care in our communities, for our First Responders and Neighbourhood and other Watch groups and for all that the future promises. Yes, it’s likely to benefit different generations in different ways, but if we get the job done right then we can benefit simultaneously in multiple ways.

As part of the new Government’s initiative that has put our Eden Valley in the Big Society Vanguard, this historic meeting of Parish leaders and residents and Community Broadband Champions is an interactive event using Cumbria County Council expertise and equipment to reflect our opinions in a live referendum that is expected to kick start what could be a domino-effect communications revolution that can be reasonably expected to have very beneficial long-term consequences.

Charls Paxton, Lyvennet Group Big Society Broadband Champion said “It’s time to match our communications to meet the challenges of our times – the changing economic outlook, harsh winters, floods, aging society, high fuel prices, stopping tractor-swiping organised crime syndicates and distraction burglars, matching skills to jobs, matching education to employment, marketing local produce and services to local and regional customers, matching the methods of renewable energy generation with the desires of the local people. Exposing gaps in the market for local jobs. Better communications are key to all this and more.”

For localism to work, we need residents of the communities who receive the Leith-Lyvennet Church Newsletter, and their Parish representatives to be upstanding and to come along to hear what’s being said and to have their say. Do you live in Leith-Lyvennet area? Do you feel your quality of life would be improved if you were able to have more influence over important decisions within your community that impact your lives? Rory Stewart, our MP, has campaigned hard for this to happen, and this has resulted in the Government’s Big Society policy and Localism Bill. For the first time, local communities like Leith-Lyvennet will be empowered to have a significant influence on important decisions that directly affect our quality of life. Closer cooperation will help us better cope with the challenges of this age and better able to benefit from the opportunities.

You may have heard that £10m has been allocated to deliver Superfast Broadband in Cumbria, much of this within the Eden Valley. This is true and it’s because the Eden Valley has been chosen as a vanguard area to deliver the first Big Society Broadband project in the UK. We must try to ensure that all types of people within Eden Valley will benefit fairly, and that Leith Lyvennet does not miss a valuable opportunity. However, Big Society participation does mean playing our part in helping make things happen, very much as people tended to do in the good old days.

Other communities, both in Cumbria and throughout the UK, covet our special vanguard status that Eden Valley has been granted. If we don’t show enough support, we might lose vanguard status and our share of the £10m might be spent in other areas that do engage fully.

The race is on – please support your Parish, Village or Hamlet by attending a special meeting of the 11 Leith-Lyvennet communities at Morland Village Hall at 7pm on Wednesday 16th February to show your support, find out more about Big Society, the funding on offer, and how Superfast Broadband in Eden Valley will improve your quality of life. This is the first ever joint meeting of the 11 communities, so this is history in the making and you can be part of it’s shaping.

Morland Village Hall – 7pm Wednesday 16th February.
Interactive Agenda

· Introduction and welcome Freddy Markham, Chair

· Benefits of next generation Lance Greenhalgh, Cliburn
broadband and possible costs

· Eden Declaration Louis Mosley, Rory Stewart’s office

· Cumbria County Council’s view CCC Councillor

· Question Panel Freddy Markham, Lance Greenhalgh
Thane Brooker, John Linford, Louis Mosley

· What do you think? Your chance to ‘have more say’.

· What you have said. A summary of what you have said throughout the event.

We need a large turnout, so please register your interest as early as possible by contacting any of the people named below.
If you are unable to come, it is important that you still register your support and interest so you do not miss out on important updates. Please do so by contacting your Parish Council or any of the ladies or gentlemen named below.

If better opportunities are important to you, come along and make local history!

Contacts: Freddy Markham, Morland, freddy@markham.uk.net or 07831 428541, Ms. Nicky Baxter, Bolton, nbaxter@toucansurf.com or 017683 61312 Lance Greenhalgh, Cliburn, lanceg1@hotmail.co.uk or 07770 808497. Charles Paxton, Maulds Meaburn contact@thewebcat.biz 01931 715270.
For more please see http://BroadbandCumbria.com
Images (If anyone can provide better images for this press release, please email them to contact@thewebcat.biz)

Rural Eden Could Enjoy Some Of The Fastest Residential Broadband In Europe (Photo Credit Charles Paxton)

Community Action In Eden Can Be Very Powerful. Crosby Ravensworth’s Crocus Walk 2009 Fundraiser For Breast Cancer (Photo Credit Kitty Smith)

A Bridge To A Brighter Digital Future? Morland’s Leith-Lyvennet Meeting may help bridge the ‘digital divide’ and bring better digital services to rural Eden’s ‘final third’. (Photo Credit Charles Paxton)
Rory at CAPC Carlisle Conference
“Local people know more, care more and can do more than remote officials.” The Right Honourable Rory Stewart, our MP For Penrith and The Border (pictured here at the recent Carlisle Racecourse CAPC conference) has been an inspirational force for Localism and better digital opportunities for Eden. He says “Let’s create a situation where people want to sit on Parish Councils because they know that they’ll have the power, the responsibility and sometimes the financial authority to bring about change.”

For more information contact C.Paxton 01931-715-270 or contact@thewebcat.biz


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