WHETHER its utility companies, broadband providers or any other big businesses, they should all play by the rules.

Residents across Kingswinford, Wordsley and other areas of Dudley borough have therefore lost patience with broadband providers who seem to have a lax approach when it comes to applying the guidance set out by government around the rollout of faster broadband.

Despite the guidelines very clearly stating that providers must share existing infrastructure where possible, and, if new infrastructure is required, it should be underground rather than overground, too often operators seem to be taking the easy option and installing new telegraph poles in far too many locations – something which is particularly noticeable on streets that were built with underground infrastructure to prevent the need for any overground telegraph poles at all.

I have been back and forth with the firm about this and raised the issue with Ministers. Residents have also organised petitions to stop these poles which they feel would change the outlook across their streets and estates forever.

The Charterfields Estate in Kingswinford is a perfect example where more than 450 residents have signed a petition organised by resident Phil Hall demanding the company stop their planned installations on the estate.

I recently met with Phil, local councillors and the other campaigners at Charterfields and have also made representations on behalf of residents of Prosper Meadow, Lawnswood Road, Arbury Drive and elsewhere around Dudley South. The firm need to listen to local people, work with other providers and come up with new plans that don’t involve ignoring residents’ concerns and government guidance.

Welcoming constituents to Parliament is always a real pleasure as an MP, and no doubt many of you reading this column will have joined me on one of my previous tours which I have arranged to give residents the chance to visit the place where I work on your behalf.

I’ve now set the date for the next tour as Thursday July 4 and all readers are welcome to book a place.

As always, the tour itself is completely free and we have arranged coach transport to get people from the pickup point in Wordsley to Westminster and back again at £28 per head.

To book a place, either call my office on 01384 913123 or send me an email at mike.wood.mp@parliament.uk.

There are some important pieces of legislation currently working their way through Parliament – including the Rwanda Bill – so I hope you will be able to join us on the trip to catch a glimpse of Parliament in action.