Government’s Plans Offer Nothing for West Cumbria

The Government’s legislative programme, as announced by the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, offers nothing for West Cumbria says Copeland MP, Jamie Reed.

The Government outlined their plans for the coming year, but offered no measures that would help those on zero-hours contracts, those hit by the bedroom tax and nothing to secure services at the West Cumberland Hospital or invest in the A595.

The Government’s devolution plans would also have a damaging impact on communities in West Cumbria as they only apply to cities, a move described by Jamie Reed as ‘half-baked’.

Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed MP said:

“The plans outlined by the Government show their blatant disregard towards the people of West Cumbria.  In the last parliament, I made the Prime Minister aware of the pressing issues facing our constituency, time and again.  Yet, his plans for the coming year will do nothing to address them.

“The Government have no plans to support the West Cumberland Hospital, no plans for investment in the A595 and no plans to help our young people take advantage of the opportunities we are building in West Cumbria.  This is sadly typical – we will succeed despite the government, not because of anything it might do.

“The announced plans for devolution to city areas will do nothing for our communities and the plans are clearly half-baked.  Imposing models of governance on areas and limiting the regions which can influence decisions on their own matters is not the right way to achieve meaningful change; the Government are clearly more concerned with playing politics than empowering communities.  It is absolutely imperative that we reconnect with communities that are disconnected from London and Westminster, and give areas such as ours the responsibility and powers necessary to affect real change closer to home. This means understanding what is happening in the forgotten England of marginalised towns and peripheral communities, not simply rolling out some headlines for the low-hanging fruit represented by our major metropolitan areas. This is atypically disingenuous approach to devolution and England deserves a better deal. 

“The legislative agenda laid out by the Government makes one thing clear: the next five years is going to be a time of further cuts for Copeland.  Council budgets will be slashed further and our public services will be under increasing pressure.  But, our best days are ahead of us and, even without Government support, I will continue to fight to secure our brighter future.”

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