widen the net TO give 2,500 homes in access to the internet is a wonderful idea -- but it should not stop there.

Councillors have agreed to spend more than £100,000 of government cash to help meet the cost of the Wired Up Community project in Whitebirk, Blackburn, launched yesterday.

The area was chosen earlier this year as one of six to become the country's first cluster of 'wired communities' which will be monitored to see what affect the internet has on people's lives once they have easy access to it.

Five local schools will also be involved in the project, as well as 2,500 of the 2,800 homes in the Whitebirk, Intack, Accrington Road, Audley and Delph areas.

All the computer hardware and software will be paid for, at an estimated cost of £1,000 each, but families and schools will have to pay the phone bills for connecting up to the internet, although the Government intends to negotiate the lowest possible rates.

But it is now up to the fortunate people of Whitebirk to grasp this chance with gusto and if, as seems likely, the scheme is seen to benefit people's education and lives in general, it should be extended to other areas as soon as possible. WHAT a great night in Munich -- and what a relief that no thugs from East Lancashire tainted the celebrations with their animal behaviour.

Too often, our all-too-rare successes have been spoiled by idiots rampaging in the name of patriotism.

The arrest of five people from our area by the police at Manchester Airport may have been significant in keeping the peace. Let us hope the police are now winning their battle with the thugs.