Filleigh, East Buckland and West Buckland are calling for fibre-optic broadband for their villages.

A petition calling for faster broadband in Filleigh and East and West Buckland has been signed by 99 per cent of the villages’ residents.

The petition, supported by the Earl and Countess of Arran at Castle Hill, was handed to the culture secretary, John Whittingdale, by North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones at Westminster.

It is the latest stage in the campaign by the three villages for fast fibre-optic broadband after missing out on superfast broadband via the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme in 2014.

Mr Heaton-Jones said: “He (Mr Whittingdale) has undertaken to respond to the issues raised and asked me to pass on that he understood entirely the importance of superfast broadband to rural communities like ours.”

After missing out on inclusion in 2014, villagers worked together during the summer to draw up the petition to benefit the 98 small businesses within the three villages, as well as local residents.

This petition was presented to Mr Heaton-Jones at Castle Hill in Filleigh in September.