rory promotes cumbrian broadband at cross-party MPs’ conference

Rory updated delegates on advances in Cumbrian broadband, joining five of Cumbria’s six MPs at the DODS conference “Cumbria 2012 and Beyond” at Carlisle Racecourse on Friday. The Westminster representatives met alongside Cumbria’s local authorities and businesses, the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, and various other local organisations in a wide-ranging event that sought to address how to support and boost the Cumbrian economy in the coming years.

The conference was organised by DODS – the UK’s leading provider of political information and public affairs communications – and was opened by Carlisle MP John Stevenson. West Cumbrian MPs Jamie Reed and Sir Tony Cunningham, and Barrow MP John Woodcock, also participated. Conference sessions looked variously at Cumbria’s manufacturing industry, the central role Cumbria has played in the nation’s energy generation, and the role it can play in the future, and how best to facilitate the growth of the rural economy, with particular emphasis on infrastructure and tourism income.

Rory closed the event with a talk updating the conference on the successes of his Cumbria-wide campaign to improve broadband and mobile infrastructure. He argued it could be the single biggest short-term contribution to the growth of Cumbrian services and its economy. Drawing on the Fell End community broadband model, the Penrith and the Border MP stressed that the success of future broadband projects would also depend on the co-operation and collaboration between the three pillars of ‘community, government and business’. He called for a much closer focus on the needs and demands of particular communities and businesses, to make the roll-out as flexible and targeted as possible.

Rory said: “Today’s conference has undoubtedly made positive strides in addressing the many issues that are fundamental to the future success of the Cumbrian economy. Every representative was able to bring their knowledge and experience to the table to shed light on solutions which, importantly, will be cross-party in nature. As always however, what we now need is action. This event will only be judged a success if it helps to bring about some of the key ideas put forward in its breakout sessions. We need to build on the impetus and momentum of this event quickly, to ensure we witness genuine positive change to the Cumbrian economy. I’m delighted that Cumbria’s MPs are all working together on this important subject.”

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