COPELAND MP JAMIE REED

A key part of the Chancellor’s messaging surrounds the Northern Powerhouse. An initiative that looks and sounds better on paper than it is manifesting in practice. I have been calling for greater devolution of power and responsibilities for […]
Jamie Reed MP

Jamie Reed MP

A key part of the Chancellor’s messaging surrounds the Northern Powerhouse.

An initiative that looks and sounds better on paper than it is manifesting in practice. I have been calling for greater devolution of power and responsibilities for years.

In West Cumbria we are taking the initiative. We aren’t waiting for Government to tell us what we can do, we are getting on with building a brighter future. We are the real Northern Powerhouse.

There are many exciting things happening in our part of the world and I will get on to these in detail shortly, but it is precisely because of these exciting things that I asked the Chancellor if he has visited Copeland, or any part of Cumbria.

The Government provided an answer that I couldn’t believe. When asked at the end of October how many official visits he has made to a) Copeland and b) Cumbria, the Government replied with: “Last week the Chancellor of the Exchequer was in Manchester, Newcastle and Teesside, and would hope to visit Cumbria in due course.”

This begs two questions: What is the relevance of the Manchester, Newcastle and Teesside to the question I asked? And secondly, if he “hopes to visit in due course”, why doesn’t he come and visit?

Manchester, Newcastle and Teesside are not in Cumbria. This is plainly evident to anyone with more than a passing acquaintance of our region.

The challenges facing these places are different to those that we face in Cumbria. That is why we should be empowered by Government to make decisions locally.

Now, previous questions to the Government about the Northern Powerhouse has suggested that their plans are at best, a bit fuzzy. They haven’t been able to give any specific geographical boundaries for what constitutes the Northern Powerhouse, nor have they been able to point to specific funding for infrastructure as a result of the scheme.

It is truly unbelievable that the Government seemingly doesn’t understand the potential here in West Cumbria. Even if they aren’t sure about what their Northern Powerhouse is or does, they should get themselves a new map, come to Cumbria and see ours in action.

West Cumbria stands on the verge of a truly transformative era. Our best days are ahead of us and we are making great progress. We are about to see the biggest single private investment in our region in the shape of new nuclear reactors at Moorside.

This is set to bring tens of thousands of new jobs to our region and puts us in prime position to become the fastest growing sub regional economies in the entire country. None of this investment was inevitable; it is the result of hard work stretching back over a decade. The key thing now is securing the benefits for our communities for decades to come. In order to ensure we reach our economic potential, we must equip our young people with the skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities coming our way.

It is true that the Government should do more, including investing in key infrastructure such as road and rail, but also improve access to broadband: our new economy can be built on ‘bricks and clicks’.

West Cumbria is steaming ahead; the Government should recognise our potential and maybe pay us a visit.

COPELAND MP JAMIE REED

A key part of the Chancellor’s messaging surrounds the Northern Powerhouse. An initiative that looks and sounds better on paper than it is manifesting in practice. I have been calling for greater devolution of power and responsibilities for […]
Jamie Reed MP

Jamie Reed MP

A key part of the Chancellor’s messaging surrounds the Northern Powerhouse.

An initiative that looks and sounds better on paper than it is manifesting in practice. I have been calling for greater devolution of power and responsibilities for years.

In West Cumbria we are taking the initiative. We aren’t waiting for Government to tell us what we can do, we are getting on with building a brighter future. We are the real Northern Powerhouse.

There are many exciting things happening in our part of the world and I will get on to these in detail shortly, but it is precisely because of these exciting things that I asked the Chancellor if he has visited Copeland, or any part of Cumbria.

The Government provided an answer that I couldn’t believe. When asked at the end of October how many official visits he has made to a) Copeland and b) Cumbria, the Government replied with: “Last week the Chancellor of the Exchequer was in Manchester, Newcastle and Teesside, and would hope to visit Cumbria in due course.”

This begs two questions: What is the relevance of the Manchester, Newcastle and Teesside to the question I asked? And secondly, if he “hopes to visit in due course”, why doesn’t he come and visit?

Manchester, Newcastle and Teesside are not in Cumbria. This is plainly evident to anyone with more than a passing acquaintance of our region.

The challenges facing these places are different to those that we face in Cumbria. That is why we should be empowered by Government to make decisions locally.

Now, previous questions to the Government about the Northern Powerhouse has suggested that their plans are at best, a bit fuzzy. They haven’t been able to give any specific geographical boundaries for what constitutes the Northern Powerhouse, nor have they been able to point to specific funding for infrastructure as a result of the scheme.

It is truly unbelievable that the Government seemingly doesn’t understand the potential here in West Cumbria. Even if they aren’t sure about what their Northern Powerhouse is or does, they should get themselves a new map, come to Cumbria and see ours in action.

West Cumbria stands on the verge of a truly transformative era. Our best days are ahead of us and we are making great progress. We are about to see the biggest single private investment in our region in the shape of new nuclear reactors at Moorside.

This is set to bring tens of thousands of new jobs to our region and puts us in prime position to become the fastest growing sub regional economies in the entire country. None of this investment was inevitable; it is the result of hard work stretching back over a decade. The key thing now is securing the benefits for our communities for decades to come. In order to ensure we reach our economic potential, we must equip our young people with the skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities coming our way.

It is true that the Government should do more, including investing in key infrastructure such as road and rail, but also improve access to broadband: our new economy can be built on ‘bricks and clicks’.

West Cumbria is steaming ahead; the Government should recognise our potential and maybe pay us a visit.