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  • Reading West business discusses broadband in meeting with Secretary of State | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    for job creation Having already invested 700 000 in Abbey s move to new premises and creating 5 new jobs Andrew cited frustrating examples of a video upload to their new website taking over 3 hours before crashing and rationing staff access to the Internet Mr Young explained to Maria Miller that he had contacted all of the neighbouring businesses to register interest with BT in receiving superfast broadband and BT had previously given a commitment to install superfast broadband by October 2012 but that he had received no updates from BT since that date passed The Secretary of State promised to write to BT to ask about their plans for the rollout of superfast broadband and to ask how they planned to update customers that had registered an interest in receiving superfast broadband The Coalition Government has pledged to secure superfast broadband in 90 per cent of premises and to provide universal access to standard broadband with a speed of at least 2Mbps by 2015 Alok Sharma said I was very pleased that the Secretary of State was able to take the time to visit Reading and to hear about the challenges that some businesses are facing in respect of broadband speeds and I am very pleased that the Department has agreed to follow this up with BT Maria Miller Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport said We know how important access to broadband is to local communities so we are investing 1 2 billion over the course of this parliament to deliver a transformation in broadband by 2015 but there is always more we can do Given how important connectivity is to businesses and enterprise it was extremely helpful to hear more about Andrew s experiences at Abbey Windows and I look forward to hearing from

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/node/468 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma supports calls for better coverage of fast broadband | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    central Reading but broadband suppliers are unable to offer speeds of more than 1Mb s despite speeds of over 30Mb s available in other nearby areas of Reading Andrew Young Managing Director of Abbey Windows said Our speed here is running at as little as 0 10Mb Downloading supplier information is slow and uploading videos to Youtube which are to be an integral part of our website can take 3 hours each In addition day to day use of the internet is very slow and with potentially ten of us here using it we need to ration its access to avoid reducing the speed further This has slowed our plans of expansion and further job creation The Coalition Government has pledged to secure superfast broadband in 90 per cent of premises and to provide universal access to standard broadband with a speed of at least 2Mbps by 2015 The Government has also committed 530m in funding to stimulate commercial investment to roll out high speed broadband in rural communities and to deliver a high speed service to areas which are not covered by a commercial roll out Alok Sharma has written to BT and to Government Ministers and had meetings on the issue of securing consistent coverage of superfast broadband in Berkshire Businesses and residents can register an interest in receiving superfast broadband online at www superfastberkshire org uk This is a website set up in conjunction with all of the unitary authorities in Berkshire as well as the TVB LEP which can be used by broadband providers to gauge the level of interest in an area and encourage them to invest Alok Sharma said Securing faster broadband in Reading is absolutely essential for business and for future growth and so I am delighted to support the campaign being spearheaded

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/node/446 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma calls on Council to change controversial bus lane warning signs | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    to better warn motorists of the bus only restriction on which Alok embarked after he was contacted by a number of affected local residents including Lieutenant Kenneth Guest Commanding Officer at The Salvation Army Reading West Corps Local residents raised concerns that the bus lane which is only in operation between the hours of 7 30am and 8 45am has been used to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for Council coffers after an Appeals Adjudicator ruled against Reading Borough Council in a number of Penalty Charge Notice PCN appeal cases stating that the advance warning signs do not give adequate information of this bus lane and its time of operation Alok previously wrote to Reading Borough Council to request that the font size for the operating times of the bus lane is increased on the advance directional signs The Council responded by stating The advance directional signs ADS are information signs and fully comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 TSRGD Following the Council s response Alok wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport to request clarification with regards to whether these bus lane advance warning signs meet statutory requirements The response from Norman Baker Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport stated My officials have looked at the working drawing of the advance direction signs which you included in your letter and although the size of the font used on the sub plate is not shown suggest that it does not appear to meet statutory requirements Alok said I continue to have concerns that the Council has not heeded previous requests to increase the font size for the operating times of the bus lane on the advance directional signs which by any reasonable person s judgement is too small to be

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/node/376 (2016-02-14)
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  • Partial success in MP’s unfair bus lane camera campaign | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    in operation between the hours of 7 30am and 8 45am has been used to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for Council coffers after an Appeals Adjudicator ruled against Reading Borough Council in a number of Penalty Charge Notice PCN appeal cases stating that the advance warning signs and the bus lane entry signs do not give adequate information about the bus lane In a further appeal in the case of Norman versus the Council the Adjudicator s decision of 2nd May 2012 upheld previous decisions as the signs do not give adequate information of this bus lane and its time of operation Alok wrote to the Director and Council Manager of Reading Borough Council in order to share his constituents concerns In its reply the Council states that it has now reviewed the signs in question in the light of the Appeals Adjudicator s decision As a result of this review the Council has confirmed in its letter to Alok that Officers have reviewed the signs in question in the light of Mr Nicholls s decision Adjustments have been made to them A Freedom of Information FoI request was also made to the Council requesting data on how much money the bus lane had raised and the dimensions of the advance warning signs in question In the Council s response measurements were provided for every part of the sign except the times the bus lane was in operation Alok said I was very surprised to read in the local media the suggestion by the lead Councillor for Transport Mr Page that I had been misled about the signage issue by my constituents If that was indeed the case why has the Council now changed some of the signs Given the Council s decision to alter the signs it would appear that the person who has actually been misled is Councillor Page himself Alok continued I do continue to have concerns about the advance warning signs which have not yet been changed The Council has informed me in writing that these advanced directional signs fully comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 Having consulted with the House of Commons Library Transport specialist it would appear that the minimum font size for the bus lane operation times should be between 48 60mm However the actual height of the font varies between 25 30mm on this part of the signs I have therefore written to the Secretary of State to provide some clarification on this matter Alok concluded Even if the signs are within the statutory minimum requirements if the Council are serious about enforcing the bus lane and not just nurturing a cash cow why not listen to local residents take a pragmatic approach and improve the signposting The FoI request made by Alok shows that since the installation of a camera at the bus lane in July 2009 to date more than 9 570 PCNs have been issued Whilst the Council s FoI response did provide

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/node/349 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma votes to support EU Referendum Bill | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Tackling overcrowding on trains Tackling potholes in Reading West Past Campaigns Exporting for Growth Seminar Battle Health Petition Boosting primary school places in Reading Delivery of Purley Bund Flood alleviation for Keswick Close and Ogmore Close Flood alleviation for Kingsley Close in Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Sharma votes to support EU Referendum Bill 5th July 2013 Alok Sharma the Member of Parliament for Reading West has voted to support the EU Referendum Bill as it received its Second Reading in the House of Commons The Bill was introduced by Conservative MP James Wharton as a Private Members Bill and if successful will lead to the first public vote on Europe for 40 years after a renegotiation for a new deal in the EU Alok Sharma said Only the Conservatives are voting to give the British people a say on Europe Labour does not trust the British people to give their verdict on our relationship with Europe Labour denied the British people a vote on the Lisbon Treaty in 2007 and now they want to refuse them a say again Alok continued It has been nearly 40 years since the British people last had their say on Europe and most of us have never had a say on Europe at all I was only seven years old at the last referendum This question about our membership of the EU is already there and ignoring it will not make it go away These concerns deserve to be heard and acted upon and I support the Prime Minister in his attempts to secure

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/node/530 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma invited the people of Reading to co-sponsor EU Referendum Bill | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Reading Delivery of Purley Bund Flood alleviation for Keswick Close and Ogmore Close Flood alleviation for Kingsley Close in Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Sharma invited the people of Reading to co sponsor EU Referendum Bill 19th June 2013 Alok Sharma the Member of Parliament for Reading West is urging people to sign up as co sponsors of the EU Referendum Bill which has been published today The Bill is being introduced in Parliament as a Private Members Bill by Conservative MP James Wharton and if successful will lead to the first public vote on Europe for 40 years after a renegotiation for a new deal in the EU Co sponsors will be able to back the Bill using a new innovative online co sponsoring form by visiting the www LetBritainDecide com campaign website Alok Sharma said Before I became a Member of Parliament I ran a local campaign in 2007 calling on the then Labour government to give the British people a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty before it was ratified Sadly Labour refused to trust the British people and signed up to the treaty without a referendum However we now have an opportunity to get behind this Conservative Private Member s Bill and demonstrate the real appetite within the great British public for a referendum on Europe Alok continued Labour did not trust the British people in 2007 and they do not trust the British people now to give their verdict on our relationship with Europe By co sponsoring this Bill at the www LetBritainDecide com campaign website local

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/node/506 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma and Local Conservatives call for referendum on European Treaty | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Theale Supporting Heathrow Airport Tackling overcrowding on trains Tackling potholes in Reading West Past Campaigns Exporting for Growth Seminar Battle Health Petition Boosting primary school places in Reading Delivery of Purley Bund Flood alleviation for Keswick Close and Ogmore Close Flood alleviation for Kingsley Close in Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Alok Sharma and Local Conservatives call for referendum on European Treaty 30th June 2007 Alok Sharma the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate in Reading West together with other Reading West Conservatives have called on the Labour Government to honour its 2005 manifesto commitment to give the British people a referendum on the European Constitution At the launch of the campaign Alok commented The new European Union Treaty which transfers significant powers to Brussels from the Westminster Parliament is over 90 similar to the discredited and rejected EU Constitution proposed earlier Gordon Brown needs to hold immediately the promised referendum to let the British people decide if they want to sign away a

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/node/62 (2016-02-14)
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  • Reading West MP gives keynote speech at Afro Business Expo | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Conference Centre The three day event which was organised by local company Motherland Connects aimed to help local companies to invest in Africa as well as attract African businesses to Reading and the Thames Valley The event was also attended by representatives from UK Trade and Investment UK Export Finance Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Alok also chaired a panel discussion on Anglo Africa Trade Relations with other panellists from business including Chantelé Carrington representing Price Waterhouse Cooper Africa Business Group and Paddy Docherty Chief Executive of Phoenix Africa Development Company Alok has previously organised two export seminars in Reading to help local businesses to export During his speech Alok outlined the opportunities that Africa provides to businesses in the UK and its potential for future economic growth Speaking during the event Alok Sharma said We all understand that Africa has its challenges but what it is also clear that Africa is increasingly a Continent which offers huge potential and opportunity and British business cannot afford to miss out Six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa which is forecast to outpace the world economy by almost 2 until the end of the decade Africa is increasingly connected and mobile phone subscriptions have increased tenfold in ten years to around 550 million Whilst we in the West are experiencing demographic change with an increasingly ageing population Africa s demographic change means that its working age population is growing faster than economies in Asia In 20 to 25 years Africa will have a larger working age population than China and India which represents a staggering potential Outlining the assistance that the government is offering to UK businesses looking to export to Africa Alok said The Foreign Office has added over 20 prosperity officers to Britain s fourteen UKTI offices across Africa These individuals support business development giving local advice and support to UK companies such as UKTI s Overseas Business Risk service UKTI s Export Finance programme offers guaranteed government loans to help UK businesses get exporting And UKTI has regular trade missions with four oil and gas themed missions to East Africa and Mozambique this year alone In addition to helping British companies to trade with Africa the UK is also shifting the focus of our aid money towards economic and sustainable development Something I greatly welcome Alok also encouraged attendees from African companies to do business and invest in the Thames Valley I say to our Friends attending from Africa and African based businesses you are in absolutely the right region if you want to meet British businesses with a can do attitude who want to work with you in expanding Anglo African bi lateral trade and investment And on a national level we have a Prime Minister a Chancellor a government determined to see business succeed and exports and inward investment to grow We have been lowering corporate taxes cutting red tape which holds back business

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/node/733 (2016-02-14)
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