Rory Stewart MP has commented on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today, welcoming in particular the initiatives that will boost productivity and connectivity for Cumbria’s rural communities and for the homes and businesses in Penrith and The Border.

Speaking today, Rory said:

“This is a sensible but optimistic Statement, and it will bring many benefits to Penrith and The Border and to other rural communities who look to places like Cumbria to lead the way in initiatives particularly to do with telecommunications and infrastructure development. Not only has the Chancellor continued to recognise the value of mobile and superfast broadband – and in particular, the need to invest heavily in the development of 5G mobile technology – but he has also responded to years of lobbying by communities from Penrith to Scotch Corner who have long advocated for the dualling of the road, confirming today that many stretches of this road will be developed.”

“I particularly welcome the news that the Great North Air Ambulance is to benefit significantly, highlighting the importance of the role our emergency services play in getting to our most remote communities, and a new Headquarters and Centre of Medical Excellence in the north is to be welcomed. Similarly, the figure mentioned for the Local Growth Fund sounds very positive and creates a framework in which infrastructure projects can be developed with economic certainty.”

“Many are concerned about the future of our economy post Brexit. Other announcements today, such as on rural rates relief and the confirmation of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, show that we are forging ahead and making the most of the opportunities that we have, and the strong economy that the final six years of government have helped to stabilise.”

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