East Worthing and Shoreham MP, Tim Loughton, used a breakfast briefing to the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce at Shoreham Airport last Friday to call for the roll-out of open access public Wi-Fi across Worthing. He was given unanimous support for the campaign by all the chamber members present.
The MP had been invited to give a talk on the Government’s economic growth programme, the latest developments with the A27 upgrade and the EU Referendum Bill.
Tim gave a rundown of how the local economy was faring well compared with the rest of the country with unemployment in the South East now standing at 4.1% compared with 5.5% nationally. The level of Job Seeker’s Allowance claimants in his East Worthing and Shoreham constituency has fallen from 1759 in 2010 to just 601 now, representing a lower rate than for the South East region as a whole. Tim praised the dramatic fall in those local young people not in education, employment or training which in 2010 stood at 490 but is just 110 today.
Commenting, Tim said: “Whilst there is still a long way to go with the national economic recovery, local businesses are doing particularly well and unemployment rates are very reassuring, especially amongst young people. Our local business parks are in a particularly healthy state with Lancing Business Park, the second largest in West Sussex, almost at capacity. Whilst we cannot be complacent, it is clear that businesses see Adur and Worthing as a good place to invest and the changes to the A27 can only help that appeal.
“I have been impressed by the determination of senior council officers and councillors to drive forward a technology revolution which must include rolling out public access Wi-Fi as rapidly as possible. I was in St Petersburg just after the election and I was struck by just how simple it was to log on to free public Wi-Fi across the City. Surely we can do the same in Worthing. I will be speaking to both the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council to see how quickly we can make Worthing one of the first public Wi-Fi accessible towns in the UK.”