MARIA Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, visited Stroud last week to discuss broadband with Stroud MP Neil Carmichael..

Mrs Miller, whose brief includes broadband and the Fastershire project as part of her work as Media Secretary, met residents and local stakeholders at The Bell at Selsley to discuss the Government’s ongoing investment to ensure that 90 per cent of households have superfast broadband by 2015.

Mr Carmichael raised queries forwarded by residents from areas including Chalford, Coopers Edge, Purton and Stonehouse, where homeowners and businesses have struggled with low broadband speeds.

During the meeting, Mrs Miller said: “Broadband is an essential aspect of quality of life. Parents want their children to be able to do their homework on the computer at home; rural businesses want to be able to compete, and faster broadband is an essential part of that.”

As part of his campaign to ensure faster broadband around the constituency, Mr Carmichael has regular meetings with BT to raise residents’ concerns.

After the meeting, he said: “I am delighted that Maria Miller was able to join us today, and to see what the Valleys and Vale has got going for it.

“Faster broadband around the constituency is crucial to encouraging business investment and boosting the Stroud economy, and I will continue my work to ensure that superfast broadband is rolled out across the district.”

*A report of the investigation into the Culture Secretary's expences is set to be published today, Thursday.  It will detail the findings of an investigation launched in December 2012 by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards into Mrs Miller’s claims of £90,718 for her second home in Wimbledon during 2005 and 2009, where her parents also lived.

For more see link by Newsquest title the Basingstoke Gazette.