Mel Stride

    RURAL BROADBAND was top of the agenda when East Devon District Councillor Simon Grundy met with Central Devon MP Mel Stride today (14/09/18). Cllr Grundy, who represents Exe Valley ward, which covers the civil parishes of Brampford Speke, Huxham, Netherexe, Rewe, Stoke Canon and Upton Pyne, is in the process of launching a Community Action Group, run by volunteer residents, to bring faster broadband to his ward.

    Cllr Grundy explained:

    “If we rely upon commercial suppliers the more remote parts of the Exe Valley will not be connected to superfast broadband for some time because suppliers say that connecting to these properties is not viable. Through the new Broadband for Exe Valley project we have a better chance of persuading suppliers and other agencies to offer a wider broadband to the whole of the ward as we are demonstrating there is an organised demand for it and we have the potential to raise public money to help make the project more viable. I know that Mel has made improving rural broadband in his constituency one of his top priorities, so the next step was to brief him and I’m very pleased he’s backing the plan.”

    Mr Stride added:

    “The lack of access to a good internet connection hinders rural businesses and can increase the likelihood of rural isolation. Simon is right that an organised group will be more effective in negotiating with suppliers than residents acting individually, and I will do whatever I can to support the group, including facilitating a meeting with Connecting Devon and Somerset – the organisation responsible for the rollout of superfast broadband in the two counties.”


    Cllr Grundy would like to hear from any Exe Valley residents interested in getting involved with the project. You can email him at or ring 01392 851970.