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Digital Broadcasting: Leeds

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 12 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps are being taken to increase levels of digital inclusion in Leeds West constituency; and if he will make a statement. (255468)

Several activities are taking place in Leeds to promote digital inclusion:

The Department for Children, Schools and Families Computers for Pupils programme has helped over 3,000 pupils in Leeds since its inception, and a further 400 learners will benefit from grant funding recently awarded under the new Home Access for Targeted Groups fund., West constituency host UK online centres, which act as ‘Media Beacons’, helping young people who are excluded from school to use new technologies such as music video software and to operate community radio stations, as part of their ‘Interplay Theatre’ programme. These centres also offer training on new media to staff in other parts of the UK online centres network.

Leeds city council provides public access and training in internet use throughout their network of libraries and community centres. A mobile learning vehicle offers internet access on a regular route around targeted communities, and the city’s mobile library vehicles will shortly be fitted with wifi internet access.

In December, senior officers from the city council met to raise awareness of the impact that technology can have on communities and the advantages that it can deliver. A ‘Digital Community Vision’ is now being developed which will identify and capture the city’s digital inclusion aspirations for the future, leading to an action plan for further digital inclusion work.