Penrith and The Border MP, Dr Neil Hudson, has secured an important Parliamentary debate in the House of Commons on levelling up rural communities in Cumbria on Wednesday 23rd February.
It will be a House of Commons adjournment debate , which takes place at end of each day's sitting. They are an opportunity for an individual backbench MP to raise an issue and receive a response from the relevant Minister. Dr Hudson will be asking questions of a Minister from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Dr Hudson will discuss his long running ‘better connectivity’ campaign, that aims on improving physical and virtual connectivity across Penrith and The Border. Rural buses are key for rural areas and provision needs to be improved to prevent people from being isolated. Broadband connectivity is an endemic problem in the region also, with download speeds far below the national average.
Improving responses to flooding and adverse weather, alongside flood mitigation are also vital to make sure rural communities are not vulnerable during extreme weather.
This all has a knock-on effect on rural mental health, another one of Dr Hudson’s key campaigns.
Commenting, Dr Hudson said:
“This debate that I have triggered and am leading is an important opportunity for me to highlight some of the key issues facing our rural communities here in Cumbria. The levelling up agenda cannot be restricted to cities in the Midlands and North, it must benefit smaller towns and rural communities.
I am keen to see how the Minister is planning to bridge the connectivity gap. For too long Penrith and The Border has been treated as the ‘end of the line’ with regard to the distribution of government funds. The approach has to be holistic; improving education, health and transport for everyone in our rural communities.”