CHILDREN in Monmouthshire will "miss out" on broadband improvements because of a row over unused laptops.

Monmouth MP David Davies says the county will miss out the Welsh Government's £39 million programme to improve school internet connections.

The Welsh Government put up the cash for 2,500 laptops for Monmouthshire and Torfaen – but they remained in storage for two years.

Mr Davies said:?"It concerns me to think that pupils in my constituency are not to be given the same opportunities as other pupils in Wales purely because a purchasing deal collapsed."

"In effect, they are being punished.

"Ministers have said the money for better broadband will establish a level playing field, but that's certainly not the case in Monmouthshire."

Mr Davies said he would be taking up the matter with Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "Monmouthshire and Torfaen have already received significant capital funding for their collaborative ICT project. It's important to remember this funding is for much more than just providing ICT equipment. Pupils in both authorities will benefit from both improved connectivity and infrastructure. In allocating the recent £40m grant funding we took account of the investment we've already given Monmouthshire and Torfaen. We want to ensure that the remaining local authorities in Wales can also benefit from Welsh Government investment in ICT in schools."

First Minister Carwyn Jones announced that all schools in Wales will have access to superfast broadband speeds by next year.