Vodafone News, Chich renovations, Church Services
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Chichester Arms Renovations

As reported in the last newsletter, the Chichester Arms is now closed for renovations. Those that have passed the pub will have heard (and seen) the noise of banging and hammering late into the night as Justin makes a start on the renovations. In order to maintain some sense of the Friday night community, a number of us are now aiming to make our own way to the Blue Lion at Lewdown, please feel free to join us, we'll be there from around 8.30 onwards.

The Post Office will continue to operate from the pub until the 12th of February.

Vodafone Rural Sure Signal - Progress

The Vodafone Technical team have now visited the village to look at our sites and drew up detailed plans for the location of the systems. They have intially selected two sites for height and location, these being Rock Cottage and Chillaton Garage. Their design team have also been round now and as Lifton are also receiving this equipment I sense a mood to get this done as soon as possible. Hopefully we will see some equipment being installed very soon.

Vodafone Rural Open SureSignal - Visit to Houses of Parliament

Following our success at being invited to take part in the Rural Open SureSignal programme, I was invited to attend a meeting at the Houses of Parliament during January. As I have never been inside the hallowed halls of power before, I took an afternoon off work and availed myself of a National Express coach and popped over there for the event.
Whilst there I was able to meet representatives from other rural communities, some of which had already had their units installed. The feedback from these communities was that it was a success, with visitors to the village (albeit only those using Vodafone) now being able to get a signal in these rural 'notspots'. Feedback on whether it penetrates buildings was mixed, so it might be a question of 'wait and see'.
A recurring theme in the discussions was the worry about accidents and incidents, where the need to be able to get a signal to call an ambulance, especially when outdoors, was vital. This was a deciding factor in many communities, although the fact that it would allow visitors to businesses and residences to be able to stop in the street and call to ask 'where are you?' was also an influential factor in some cases. The sheer inconvenience of having to drive outside the village to call someone inside the village could be a deciding factor for people trying to do business, or moving into the area.
In one village, where many residents where quite reticent at first there have been requests to extend the programme further out. It remains to be seen if this is a one shot deal, or whether there is room for adding more units if there is demand.

Whilst at the HoP, we were given speeches by Jeroen Hoencamp, the CEO of Vodafone, The Hon Edward Vaizey MP  (Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries) and Richard Benyon MP, in whose constituency Vodafone HQ sits and who has been influential in getting this programme off the ground. I was also able to see the installation close up and ask technical questions of the people there. One of the discussions I had was around the possibility of using this opportunity as a stepping stone to perhaps improving the general signal in the area, possibly by building a new mast. I would appreciate feedback on that if anyone has any feelings either way. I also met the representative from Lifton, Chris Edmonds, (who is also Chair of their Parish Council) .

Chris Beighton - Vodafone Rural Open SureSignal Champion

Marystowe Church Services

Please note that all services on the 1st and 3rd Sundays each month, at Marystowe Church will now be at 9.30am, unless otherwise notified.
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