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Hampshire County Council appears to have shelved plans to bring in a new 'Broadband Tsar' to spearhead its network upgrade plan.

Last February, the authority approved plans for the appointment of a new Director of Broadband, to oversee the rollout of high-speed broadband across the county.

However, following the change of government, the council has seen its budget cut by £55 million per year and 1,200 jobs have been axed, reports the Hampshire Chronicle.

Council Leader Ken Thornber revealed there are "no plans at the moment" to move forwards with recruitment of the broadband project leader.

He said that if an appointment is made, it will be through an internal hiring process.

Keith House, Leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat Party, argued that the Broadband Tsar was "always a grandiose and expensive appointment" in difficult financial times.

"With the county cutting youth services and restricting bus passes, there was no justification for another £100,000 senior staff package," he added.

Hampshire County Council's application for a share of the first £50 million in Broadband Delivery UK funding was recently rejected.

The body chose to distribute the initial wave of funding between Norfolk, Wiltshire and a Somerset/Devon joint bid.

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