The lack of ultra-fast broadband in London s financial centre could damage the capital s status as a world class city, MPs have been warned. The City of London Corporation, which is the local authority responsible for for the Square Mile, has told the influential Business, Innovation and Skills select committee that more than 9,000 businesses in its area are running on slow, dated broadband connections. In written evidence, the corporation said: There is deep concern that the attractiveness of the City is increasingly disadvantaged by the lack of fast broadband connectivity at an affordable level. Leased lines are prohibitively expensive for many small companies, leaving them struggling on copper ADSL lines with slow speeds and unreliable connectivity.
Corporation officials have met broadband providers in recent months to try to improve the situation, but have made only limited progress . The submission added: This stance has an immediate, deleterious effect on hi-tech SMEs which operate in and around the Square Mile and in the long run could damage London s position as a leading edge global city. The corporation also claimed that City firms are concerned about the lack of digital skills among their workforces. In 2013 reseach from O2 and Development Economics showed that an additional 745,000 workers with digital skills would be needed within four years if the UK was to make the most of technological advances.
The corporation s evidence will form part of an inquiry into the digital economy that has been set up by committee chairman Iain Wright, the Labour MP for Hartlepool. He wants the Government to make sure that the UK is taking economic advantage of fast-changing digital technologies. Mr Wright told The Independent: Although we are also looking at trendy technology companies, the big thing for me is to also focus on how digital is changing the traditional economy and how it is coping in terms of skills.
EE, the mobile network operator that is being snapped up by BT for 12.5bn, also submitted evidence.
It said that there needs to be swift reform of the UK s complicated planning regime to support the roll-out of mobile phone infrastructure.
TEENAGE best friend took a photo in the back of a police van and shared it on Snapchat just hours after committing a “sustained and brutal” murder, a British court has heard.
Shock Snapchat … The teenagers posted this Snapchat shortly after they allegedly murdered Angela Wrightson. Source: Supplied
TEENAGE best friend took a photo in the back of a police van and shared it on Snapchat just hours after committing a sustained and brutal murder, a British court has heard. Angela Wrightson, 39, who had a drinking problem, was found dead at 7am on Tuesday morning and died from blood loss and extensive injuries.
She was found naked from the waist down on a sofa at her home in December, and forensic experts found shards of glass and gravel around her private parts , Teesside Crown Court heard. Wrightson was bashed with a wooden stick, a television, a printer and a coffee table among other items, a jury was told. Neighbours in Hartlepool, Teeside, said she had been terrorised and preyed on by local teens who had broken into her home in the past.
They also found ash in her right ear
Alan Dixon, 54, who lives nearby, said: I was told that Angie had suffered a very severe beating, it is shocking and completely sickening what these animals were doing to her.
They made her life hell and now they ve killed her.
She was a kind, trusting, decent woman who was lovely when she was sober, but she was vulnerable in drink and she was taken advantage of by groups of kids.
Cold blooded killing … Angela Wrightson, pictured, had a drinking problem. She was found brutally beaten last December. Picture: Snapper Source: Snapper Media
In the past year I have had to go into her house with my dog three times to clear kids out because Angie wanted rid of them and she was getting upset.
They preyed on her because she was too kind-hearted to turn them away.
They wanted her for drink, which they would steal from her and if she refused them they would turn nasty. Her window was smashed recently.
I have seen both the girls that have been arrested over her death in the street.
They are only young but they both drink and when I challenge them they insist they re old enough but I know they re only 13 and 14.
The thought that two young lasses of that age could be involved in something so horrific is really shocking and makes you despair.
Another neighbour, Abbie Thomas, 19, said: Everybody knew Angie, she was a bit of a character but she was totally harmless and could be really kind and lovely.
A couple of times she s turned up at our door with pizzas for me and my boyfriend. We never asked for them, but she wanted to be nice because we re nice to her.
Horror attack … The scene in Stephen Street Hartlepool where Angela Wrightson was found dead. Picture: Snapper Source: Snapper Media
The thought that someone would kill her is really sickening, I can t imagine what anyone would get from attacking her, she wouldn t even have been capable of defending herself.
It was a big shock when we were told who had been arrested.
I saw both of them sitting drinking in a garden near the town centre not far from here at 1.30am on Tuesday and the police found Angie s body at around 7am.
Both the girls are local to here but apparently both have been in care.
Angela, who had a problem with alcohol, was well known to the police and the courts and regularly got into trouble because of drink. She appeared in court in June where she was found guilty of making a number of hoax 999 calls to the police and ambulance while drunk. At the time her solicitor John Relton said: My client has had a very torrid life, she is one of nine children who were scattered throughout the care system.
It is no great surprise, therefore, she finds herself consumed by alcohol that has taken over her life.
She does apologise through me for what she has done.
Sometimes at her lowest ebb she does do this.
Cleveland Police confirmed on Wednesday that the two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14 years old, have been charged with her murder.
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