YEP Says, March 20: Digital revolution must not leave anyone behind

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IN this week’s Budget, the Chancellor George Osborne announced more funding for what is known as the ‘Internet of Things’.

IN this week’s Budget, the Chancellor George Osborne announced more funding for what is known as the ‘Internet of Things’.

This concept centres on the idea of taking everything from our central heating to our fridge and connecting it to the internet, enabling these devices to be controlled remotely, such as from a smartphone.

What a few years ago would have been dismissed as science fiction is fast becoming fact. And it underlines just how reliant on the internet society is becoming.

But before computer experts and the Government get too carried away with this digital revolution, they would do well to take note of figures which show that many lack the sort of web access others take for granted.

One in five people in Leeds still don’t use the internet and parts of the city remain digitally cut off. In an age when we are expected to do so much online, the first priority must be to ensure that everyone has the access and know-how they require – and where that’s impossible that allowances are made.

There is a danger that in the rush to embrace the opportunities presented by new technology, some in society are forgotten. It’s why our latest Voice of Leeds Summit next week will discuss ways of lifting communities out of this digital darkness. These are exciting times, but great care must be taken to ensure that no one is left behind.

Common sense on school siblings

YOU can understand why education chiefs flirted with the idea of changing the rules governing places being automatically awarded to children who already have a brother or sister at a particular school.

Many families move into an area and then move out once their first child has secured a place at their favoured school, knowing that their other children will get precedence over youngsters who actually live nearer.

However, the logistics involved if parents have children at different schools spread across the city would be nightmarish.

The system isn’t perfect, but the decision to maintain the status quo was the right one.