On Saturday Rory met with Eden Youth Councillors Chris Mells and Shannon Twiddy, Brathay Trust supporter Geoff Brand, and Kirkby Stephen County Councillor Libby Bateman to learn about the Cumbria Youth Parliament’s current survey into rural transport in the county. He has given the initiative his full backing, and is encouraging young people in Penrith and the Border to take part in the survey and help highlight how important rural transport is to the county’s young people. Running simultaneous to the current Cumbria County Council consultation into the future of the county’s bus routes, the Cumbria Youth Parliament’s survey aims to evidence the great importance of access to rural transport for young people, and to raise awareness amongst young people of the threat to existing bus services.
Speaking at Saturday’s meeting, Rory said: “I hope very much that the team behind the Cumbria Youth Parliament’s survey get a huge response. Chris and Shannon are doing a fantastic job helping to raise awareness of the survey, and I would like to add my voice and strongly encourage all schools in Penrith and the Border to engage in the survey and to let Cumbria County Council know why it is that we need more buses, better routes, and affordable ticketing for our young people. Our mission is to make Cumbria one of the best places to live in the UK, and to do that we need to keep our young people here; and, to keep our young people here, we need to do all we can to encourage them to be able to move around. Our economy has never been larger, and yet our bus services continue to decline – we desperately need them, and that is why I am expressing my concerns directly to Cumbria County Council, and encouraging everyone in Cumbria to take an interest in the future of our bus network.”
Chris Mells thanked Rory for his support, and said: “To stop people using buses is going to damage the economy. If I can’t get to Penrith or Kendal by bus, I won’t spend my money there. I hope as many people as possible will complete the survey.”
Rory congratulated Chris, a Kirkby Stephen Grammar School student, and Shannon, from Ullswater Community College, on their involvement in politics, and encouraged them to try to visit Parliament and to work with Rory to arrange more debating events for young constituents with an interest in politics.
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