Better broadband speed is needed to help home-based businesses in the Cotswolds.

Sir Geoffrey-Clifton Brown, MP for the Cotswolds and deputy chair of the Public Account Committee (PAC) has said the government needs to do more to improve broadband speed in rural areas.

This comes after the committee held an inquiry on Thursday, November 4, at which the Department for Culture, Media, and Sports were able to provide an update on the rollout of broadband and digital inequality.

Revised targets have been set which include at least 85 per cent gigabit coverage by 2025 but for Sir Clifton-Brown, this is not enough.

He said: “I am not that happy with the Government’s commitment to rolling out super-fast broadband to rural and hard-to-reach properties.

Sir Clifton-Brown added that of the 14 members of PAC, he represents the constituency with the lowest broadband speed, with 6.8 per cent of constituents unable to receive 30mbps which he believes leaves them with “not much of a broadband service”.

He said: “I am regularly contacted by constituents seeking my assistance in obtaining the superfast broadband they have been promised.

“The Cotswolds has one of the highest ratios of businesses being run from home and therefore this lack of broadband is a significant economic limiting factor for the Cotswolds.

“The Committee is concerned about those rural communities and the 20 per cent of hardest to reach premisses could continue to fall behind in access to superfast broadband.

“I raised this forcefully during the hearing and will continue to lobby Government to ensure they meet their targets”.

Paul Hodgkinson, Gloucestershire County councillor for Bourton, has said that whilst he supports Sir Clifton-Brown’s comments, he feels it is the failure of the Conservative Party that has led to such poor broadband speed locally.

He said: “For once, I strongly agree with the MP for the Cotswolds, much more needs to be done to deliver increased broadband speeds for residents throughout the Cotswolds and across the county.

“This was a commitment made by the Conservatives back in 2017, that they would ‘deliver superfast broadband to every home,’ yet for many of our communities, including hundreds of my constituents in Bourton-on-the-Water and neighbouring Cold Aston, they have categorically failed in their promise.

“Fast broadband speeds are essential as our rural businesses get back on their feet and for our residents who are working more from home.

“As such, I would call on Sir Geoffrey and Gloucestershire Conservatives to deliver on their promises and ensure that everyone has access to a superfast broadband connection.”