Little Marlow set to get broadband boost

James Harrison

The prospect of fast broadband being rolled out to Little Marlow looks to have taken a step closer to reality.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of Little Marlow Parish Council, Cllr Jason Downes revealed a deal to connect about 75 homes and businesses in the village was close to being agreed with BT Openreach.

The scheme, which should guarantee speeds of at least about 15mbps for properties in the area covered, is expected to cost about £34,000.

Half of that is due to be met by BT’s Community Fibre Grant, which is available because Little Marlow CE School, in School Lane, will also benefit from the upgrade.

Speaking at the meeting, he said: “We’ve got a grant for about half of it, so we’re going to need to fundraise the rest.

“What we’re going to be asking everyone to do is put their hand in their pocket and help get everyone connected.

“And we’re also looking to get corporate sponsorship to help fill the gap.”

Funding rules mean the parish council is unable to contribute.

Also discussed at the meeting was an update on the work of the council’s Budget Committee, which revealed that further increases to council tax are expected in the next financial year.

A two per cent increase to the parish precept is expected to be requested, in line with changes in the Retail Price Index.

A band D property in the village currently pays £1,517.45 a year, including a parish precept of £59.54.

If agreed at the next council meeting on Tuesday, December 6, this would be increased by about £1.

The possibility of improvements being made to Abbotsbrook Hall, in Marlow Road, Well End, and Little Marlow Pavillion, in Church Road, both of which are owned by the council, in an attempt to raise revenue was raised as well.

And council chairman Valerie Brownridge gave an update on a meeting she had been to in Sept-ember about the Wycombe District Local Plan.

She said the potential use of the Westhorpe site, between Marlow and Little Marlow for housing was raised, but said part of its purpose was to serve as a buffer between the town and the village.

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