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Council wrong to force digital channels on residents

PUBLISHED: 15:29 22 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:19 07 September 2010

IT isn t surprising that hundreds of residents are indignant about Haringey Council s plans to charge them up to £800 for the upgrade of digital television services in former council flats. It s hard to believe that in these cash-strapped times, the counc

IT isn't surprising that hundreds of residents are indignant about Haringey Council's plans to charge them up to £800 for the upgrade of digital television services in former council flats.

It's hard to believe that in these cash-strapped times, the council didn't see this coming. But if they didn't, they knew all about it on Monday night when residents made their feelings clear during a vociferous protest at the Town Hall.

Well, how would you feel if someone insisted that you had to pay hundreds of pounds to receive channels you will never watch? The digital age is supposed to be all about making personal choice possible, but why would anyone want access to 1,000 channels, many of which will be broadcast in languages they do not understand.

It's tough enough finding something worth watching on our traditional television channels, or even the dozens that come with a basic Sky package, without trawling through hundreds of channels which will be of absolutely no interest to 99 per cent of the people now being asked to fork out money they can ill afford for the privilege.

Just think of it. To watch 10 minutes of a thousand channels without a moment's interruption interruption would take up seven full days of a person's life. All this of course is being justified in the name of providing diversity but as one Turkish resident said at Monday night's protest: ''I don't want Turkish TV. It's too expensive... I can get it on the internet.'' Like many others, what he resents most is being forced to pay for something he doesn't want.

This latest nonsense, combined with the recent furore over the hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on translating leaflets nobody ever reads, shows that someone in the council's politically-correct corridors has lost the plot. And once again it is hard-pressed residents who are being asked to foot the bill for the council's idiosyncrasies.

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