Super-Fast Cable! Lib Dems Triumph In Broadband Battle

  • Lib Dem’s Vince Cable beats all opposition in Top10.com’s broadband league table

  • Cameron beats Brown for broadband speed

Hot on the heels of Nick Clegg’s triumphs in the TV election debates the Lib Dems can now claim another victory – Clegg’s colleague Vince Cable is the senior politician whose constituents enjoy the fastest broadband in the UK.

Vince Cable’s constituents in Twickenham on average get speeds over two megabits faster than those in Alistair Darling’s constituency in Edinburgh South West.

That’s according to speed test data from Top10.com, the UK’s most popular broadband comparison service.

With the general election fast approaching, Top10.com analysed over 9,000 speed tests taken by web users over the last three months in the constituencies of 12 senior politicians from the three main parties, in order to find out which had the fastest broadband.

Nick Clegg even pushed Gordon Brown into third place in the battle of the party leaders. Clegg’s constituency’s speeds (4.90Mb) were 1Mb ahead of those of Gordon Brown (3.91Mb), but behind those of David Cameron (5.91Mb).

As well as comparing the broadband speeds of the three parties’ leaders, Top10.com also looked at the speeds enjoyed by MPs closely involved in the passing of the recent Digital Economy Bill.

Tom Watson – the backbench Labour MP who was the main opponent of the Bill – has an average broadband speed of 5.8Mb in his constituency. In comparison, constituents of Stephen Timms, the Minister for Digital Britain, receive average speeds of 4.7Mb, while the slowest broadband in the survey was found in South West Surrey, the constituency of Conservative shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The national average for broadband according to Top10.com’s speed test is 5.25Mb.

Full table of results:

MP

Party Constituency Average download speed (Mbps)
Vince CableTreasury spokesman Lib Dems Twickenham 9.38
Alistair DarlingChancellor Labour Edinburgh South West 7.03
Simon HughesShadow energy spokesman Lib Dems North Southwark & Bermondsey 6.05
David CameronLeader of the Opposition Conservative Witney 5.91
Tom WatsonBackbench MP Labour West Bromwich East 5.80
National average 5.25
Don FosterShadow Culture spokesman Lib Dems Bath 4.92
Nick CleggLeader Lib Dems Sheffield Hallam 4.90
Stephen TimmsMinister for Digital Britain Labour East Ham 4.70
William HagueShadow Foreign Secretary Conservative Richmond (Yorks) 4.47
Gordon BrownPrime Minister Labour Kirkaldy & Cowdenbeath 3.90
George OsborneShadow Chancellor Conservative Tatton 3.89
Jeremy HuntShadow Culture secretary Conservative South West Surrey 3.48

Alex Buttle from Top10.com said: “Broadband and the future of our internet infrastructure have become big election issues since the debate over the Digital Economy Bill. The huge range in broadband speeds identified in our survey demonstrates how a truly ‘Digital Britain’ is still a some way off. Instead we are still seeing a notable gap between those enjoying super-fast broadband speeds and others lagging behind well below the national average.”

The three main parties have significantly differing broadband policies in their manifestos.

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to scrap the controversial Digital Economy Bill while Labour has promised to deliver broadband at a minimum speed of 2Mb to “virtually every house” in Britain by 2012. It is likely to bring back its original plans – dumped before the election – for a 50p per month tax on every phone line to pay for the universal broadband roll-out.

The Conservatives have promised to scrap the phone tax and instead find a ‘market-based solution’ for encouraging universal broadband access.

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Notes to Editors:

Top10.com Media Ltd
Top10.com – formerly Top 10 Broadband and Top 10 Mobile Phones – is the UK’s most popular comparison site aimed at the broadband and mobile phone sector with over 1.5 million consumers using the site every month.

Top10.com is dedicated to providing the best offers to help people get connected.  The award-winning service offers an unrivalled consumer experience, combining cutting-edge design, innovative tools and exciting new ways for users to interact. Alongside all the latest deals and offers, Top10.com includes up-to-date news, independent guides, and expert reviews.

Top10.com Media Ltd is a privately held company headquartered in London, UK.

Contact:
Pete Marcus
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Peter.marcus@citigatedr.co.uk
020 7282 2815

Phil Szomszor
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Phil.szomszor@citigatedr.co.uk
0207 282 1053

Nick and David neck and neck, but Gordon behind, says British business

Survey of UK companies shows LibDems and Conservatives in equal tussle for business opinion

(London, Tuesday 27th April 2010) New research amongst British business about the economic competence of the three main political parties has revealed evidence of the Clegg Effect in the country’s commercial community.  The new survey, conducted by business analysts Lindsell Marketing, shows British firms believe the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on a par for economic competence, but Labour trails far behind.

Over 1,000 firms responded to the Lindsell Marketing survey, which ended on 25th April.  They were asked, “Which of the three main political parties do you believe is best placed to give business the kind of intelligent support needed to enable reliable and rapid economic recovery?”  The Conservatives came out on top with 30% of the business vote, closely followed by the Liberal Democrats on 27%.  However, only 17% of businesses thought Labour the most capable party to bring the country back into strong economic growth.  This marks a fundamental change in business opinion, which in December 2009 put the Conservatives firmly in the lead on the question of economic competence.

Within the UK, there were country differences.  Scots businesses put Labour in the lead, whereas Welsh businesses put the Tories top.  Peaks of business support for the LibDems were seen in the North East (35%), the South West (32%) and the East of England (32%).  Conservative strongholds were seen in the Midlands (44%) and the South East (34%).   Small businesses (1-49 employees) strongly favoured the Tories, whereas smaller corporates (250-2,499 employees) came out in favour of the Liberal Democrats.

Paul Lindsell, Managing Director of Lindsell Marketing, comments, “Pre election polling naturally concentrates on the full electorate.  Yet this time round, we face a £159bn government deficit – the size which doubled between 2006 and 2008, then doubled again in a single year into 2009.  The folk who are going to generate the economic growth which reverses this appalling situation are the country’s business people.  Not only should their collective voice therefore be heard, but the electorate will also be critically interested in their expert opinion on which party they feel most competent to get the country back in the black.

“Given the results of our business poll, which so definitively places the Tories and LibDems neck and neck in front, policy analysts and advisors in both leading parties should be working even harder to find the common policy ground which would provide the basis for a viable five year plan to balance the nation’s books.”

ends

A summary of the Lindsell Marketing survey may be obtained from
http://www.lindsellmarketing.com/index.php/whats-new/commercial-confidence

For further press information, please ring Lindsell Marketing on 0207 402 0510

About Lindsell Marketing
Lindsell Marketing Limited is a business analysis and marketing consultancy.  Founded in 1994, the company has been researching and investigating business issues for over 15 years in order to provide its clients with important insights into their sectors, markets and business management techniques. Lindsell Marketing has operations in London, Oxford and Turin. The company has no political affiliations, and delivers objective insights for its clients.

Survey Methodology

  • Online and telephone survey

  • 1,011 UK companies

  • Respondent profiles: general management, marketing & sales management, financial management, operations management

  • Period: 18th-25th April 2010

  • Representation by: business size bracket; region; sector.

60% of UK Families sceptical of genuine nature of political parties

Conservatives on track for families with a ‘safer’ UK

  • 60% of families don’t see party policies as genuine or relevant

  • 32% of families don’t think any party has the power to make Britain more family friendly

  • 18% feel the Conservatives are the more ‘family friendly’ party, a marginal win over Labour with 15%

  • Flexible working hours NOT a priority for families – reducing crime and making UK safer is (13% vote for work arrangements compared to 27% reducing crime)

Making the UK safer and reducing crime would be the main priority for parents as one of the first things they would do to create a more family friendly UK. According to a poll of 3000 parents by annual family initiative, National Family Week (http://www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk/), making the UK safer/reducing crime was seen as the most important thing to do in order to achieve a more family friendly environment in the UK, followed by the option to provide more financial assistance and then improve education standards.

Therefore the Conservatives seem to be on track with what is important to families. Labour’s focus on flexible working came in fourth on the list of priorities for parents whilst improving childcare facilities lagged in fifth place. Improving housing, the environment and supporting the aged all wallowed at a 4-5% priority rating.

Not that any of it seems to much matter as more almost a third of parents surveyed don’t believe any party has the power to make the UK more family friendly and 60% answered ‘It’s just lip service – they are just looking for votes’ when asked if they felt the current political focus on family and family policy was genuine. A quarter of those surveyed, more than committed faith to any of the three parties, are still unsure as to whom they would trust.

When it comes to a ‘family friendly’ UK, the Conservatives are in front with 18% of parents polled thinking they have the best chance of making the UK more family friendly, followed by labour on 15 and the Lib Dems on barely 10%.

National Family Week takes place this year from 31 May to 6 June. Local community organisations, councils, sports associations, libraries and other groups are running over 5000 events throughout the country for families to enjoy throughout the summer half term holiday, encouraging quality time spent together and promoting the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle.

For more information on survey results, quotes, comment or interview opportunities with some of the country’s most influential family charities and institutions, information on National Family Week or anything else, please contact the National Family Week Press Office:

Tel: 020 8875 7960
Email: nfw@parys.com
Website: http://www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk/

Research
The research is based on a survey of 3000 registered voters (parents of children aged 16 and under), sourced by Onepoll between 7th April to 12th April 2010. National Family Week have also surveyed 1000 children through Youngpoll between 8-15 for a child’s perspective of family life. Contact the press office for more information.

About National Family Week 
National Family Week (31 May-6 June) is the UK’s biggest ever celebration of family life. The Week aims to encourage families to spend more quality time together and champions the benefits of a healthy, active and positive family life. No two families are alike and National Family Week celebrates diversity, supporting a range of initiatives for families of every shape and size.

Between 31 May and 6 June, over 5000 local events will take place throughout the UK for families. A ‘Family Value Campaign’ will see families access a huge range of special offers and discounts from meals out to camping equipment.

This unique celebration has brought together the largest coalition on family issues in the country with over 180 national partners behind The Week including the NSPCC, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and the National Literacy Trust. It also enjoys the support of thousands of local community partners across the UK spanning sports associations, local councils, museums and Sure Start Children’s Centres who are running thousands of events for families to enjoy.

National Family Week is funded through commercial sponsorship including family brands Pizza Hut, Vue, and Tesco Mobile.

Highlights of National Family Week 2010:
 
Monday 31 May Family Week Picnic – Hundreds of picnics organised throughout the country with eight regional flagship events
Tuesday 1 June Family Week Film Day in association with Pizza Hut and Vue – Families can enjoy a day out with special offers from Pizza Hut and Vue. 1 June will also feature an exclusive UK-wide one-day-only release of Shrek Forever After, a month before its general release.
Wednesday 2 Jun Family Week Story Time – Thousands of story time sessions and activities organised throughout shopping centres, local libraries, 50 WH Smith stores and more. The National Literacy Trust will launch their new campaign aimed at improving family literacy at home.
Saturday 5 June Family Week Sports Day – National Guinness World Record attempt for the Largest Three-Legged Race in Multiple Locations. Sports Days running across the UK including eight regional flagship events.

http://www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk/

Private tutors say no to government vetting scheme

Eight out of ten say it will do nothing to stop paedophiles accessing children

Thousands of tutors employed by parents to give their children private lessons are set to refuse to register under a controversial new government safeguarding scheme.

thetutorpages.com logo

thetutorpages.com logo

A poll published today, carried out for the thetutorpages.com website, shows that nearly three-quarters of self-employed tutors for whom the scheme is voluntary will refuse to register.

The poll also shows tutors believe overwhelmingly that the scheme, designed to protect children and vulnerable adults from potential abuse, will fail to prevent paedophiles from gaining access to children.

The findings come as the Conservatives published their election manifesto, which includes a commitment to scale back the scheme to “common sense levels”.

Up to nine million adults who work with children or vulnerable adults in schools, colleges, crèches, clubs or community centres will have to register from this summer under the new vetting and barring scheme being introduced by the government’s Independent Safeguarding Authority.

Controversially, it will allow the authorities to make checks into people’s background using information kept on police computers and other databases, in addition to records of criminal convictions kept by the Criminal Records Bureau.

However, the scheme will be voluntary for thousands of private tutors, coaches, nannies and babysitters who are self-employed. Typically tutors are recruited by parents to provide one-to-one teaching for their children in their homes. Only those who also work in schools or other formal settings or activities will have to register.

The survey of more than 500 private tutors, carried out for thetutorpages.com, shows overwhelming opposition to the vetting scheme. Key findings include:

  • 74% of self-employed tutors say they will not sign up for the scheme

  • 70% say it is a waste of resources  and will be a bureaucratic nightmare to administer

  • 71%  say it will create a blanket of suspicion and undermine trust in all adults working with children

  • 68% say it will lead to miscarriages of justice, with innocent people being unfairly barred from working with children and their reputations and careers ruined

  • 76% say there is a real danger that sensitive information will be lost or released in error with the risk that reputations and careers could be seriously damaged

  • 80% believe it is about protecting agencies and schools and will not prevent paedophiles accessing children elsewhere

  • 80% believe it is ‘way over the top’ and needs to be replaced with a simple, common sense vetting system.

The scheme has come under severe criticism from children’s authors, opposition politicians and civil liberties campaigners, including Esther Rantzen and Philip Pullman, author of the best-selling His Dark Materials trilogy.

In a letter sent out to voters last week, the Conservative Party leader David Cameron, promised to review the vetting and barring scheme as part of his campaign to take a stand against the ever-increasing powers of the “big brother” state.

Henry Fagg, director of The Tutor Pages, said: “This survey shows just how strongly tutors feel about this issue. Many already have Criminal Record Bureau certificates and see this extra check as unnecessary, bureaucratic and intrusive and regard the cost of registering – £64 – as a tax on teaching. Very few parents ask to see CRB checks as it is as they prefer to rely on personal recommendations and their own judgement.
 
“The very fact that the government has decided to exempt self-employed tutors – who regularly go into family homes to provide one-to-one teaching – from having to register in the first place speaks volumes. The reality is that tutors work very closely with parents and have a relationship built on trust. This scheme is in danger of undermining that bond of trust as it breeds the suspicion that every adult who works with children is a potential paedophile.”

For more information about the survey or to arrange an interview contact Jeremy Sutcliffe on 07977 184599 or by email: jeremy@jsmediaservices.co.uk

Notes to editors

1. The online poll was carried out for thetutorpages.com by JS Media Services – http://www.jsmediaservices.co.uk/ – during late March and early April. A total of 525 private tutors completed the survey.

2. The Tutor Pages – http://www.thetutorpages.com/ – is a tuition website that allows parents and students to contact private tutors for free.

3. The Conservative Party manifesto makes the following reference to the vetting and barring scheme on page 80: “We believe that people working in positions of trust with children should go through a proper criminal record check. But Labour’s new system goes too far. So we will review the criminal records and ‘vetting and barring’ regime and scale it back to common sense levels.”

Conservatives Strong Favourites to Secure Majority as Brown Calls Election

Number of political bets expected to quadruple today

THE CONSERVATIVES are odds-on favourites at 8-13 with Betfair punters to win a majority at the upcoming General Election after Gordon Brown asked the Queen to dissolve Parliament today.

Betfair Logo

Betfair Logo

A Hung Parliament is now 2-1, whilst Labour look a long-shot for a majority, for which they are currently a 15-1 chance.

The race narrowed in the wake of Alistair Darling’s budget to a point where Labour were 3-1 to win the most seats, but if the betting is anything to go by David Cameron’s party has regained the initiative and are now 1-5 to be the biggest party in the Commons.

Betfair are expecting the volume of political bets to rise by four times today as customers not already interested in the betting markets decide to have a wager now the race is officially underway.

Betfair spokesman Mike Robb said: “We have been staggered by the amount of interest in betting on this election.  Now that the starting gun has been formally fired we expect that interest to increase even more sharply, with the numbers of bets quadrupling today versus yesterday.

“As it stands in the betting, the Labour Party have it all to do in order to prevent the Conservatives winning a majority, though a Hung Parliament is a definite possibility at 2-1.”

For a live graph of the betting and key polls, go to www.electionpredict.com

Next General Election Overall Majority – Betfair bet: 8-13 Conservatives, 2-1 Hung Parliament, 15-1 Labour
Next General Election Most Seats – Betfair bet: 1-5 Conservatives, 11-2 Labour, 239-1 Lib Dems
Seats In House of Commons – Betfair bet: 334 Conservatives, 224 Labour, 59 Lib Dems, 9 SNP, 5 Plaid Cymru, 7 DUP
2 Elections In 2010? – Betfair bet: 1-6 No, 6-1 Yes
BNP To Win A Seat? – Betfair bet: 2-7 No, 7-2 Yes
Green Party To Win A Seat? – Betfair bet: 5-6 No, 6-5 Yes
UKIP To Win A Seat? – Betfair bet: 1-3 No, 3-1 Yes

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About Betfair: (www.betfair.com)
Betfair is the world’s biggest online sports betting company and pioneered the first successful betting exchange in 2000.  Driven by cutting-edge technology, Betfair enables customers to choose their own odds and bet even after the event has started.  The company now processes over six million transactions a day from its two million registered customers around the world. In addition to sports betting, Betfair offers a portfolio of innovative products including casino, exchange games and poker.

Betfair has twice been named the UK’s ‘Company of the Year’ by the Confederation of British Industry and has won two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, being recognised for Innovation in 2003 and most recently for International Trade in 2008.

Betfair currently employs over 1,700 people, principally in London, Malta and Tasmania. The company is a licensed betting operator in the UK, and holds licenses in Australia, Germany, Austria, Italy and Malta.

For further information:
Mike Robb
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8834 6063
Mob: +44 (0) 7921 025678