OPINION: Securing Moorside on everyone's mind

9 August 2017 6:12PM

WITH just less than a month until parliament resumes, I am continuing constituency meetings with nuclear businesses – I am very impressed by the skills this area boasts and the diversity of our workforce.

Securing Moorside is the topic on everyone's mind. I'll be returning with even more enthusiasm and determination for both our nuclear and our industrial potential.

This month I will also be attending an open day at Tornado in Millom. A superbly innovative company, and the UK market leader in fencing for the agricultural, highway and other sectors. Tornado is a significant employer and apprenticeship opportunity here in Copeland. It is always deeply fascinating to discover and learn more about our local businesses and I look forward to gaining an insight and better understanding of Tornado’s production and distribution facilities first-hand, including recent major developments and expansion work.

Nationally, I am pleased with the recent announcement regarding a £200m fund to support new rural broadband projects, and provide significant amounts of funding to on-farm businesses to invest in new infrastructure such as new buildings and machinery. This investment will make a positive difference to the livelihoods of our rurally based businesses, including farmers, landowners and Cumbria's ever-expanding tourism industry. It is essential that remote businesses have the same access to expand and improve as the rest of the region, and now that the Lake District has been awarded the prestigious Unesco World Heritage Site status, we must capitalise.

Before returning to Parliament in September, I shall be visiting food, drink, accommodation and attraction businesses which support the £2.5bn Cumbrian tourism economy along with local charities, community projects and initiatives.

My life before politics supported many community groups. I have therefore decided to add a further element to my parliamentary role and would be delighted to support not-for-profit organisations in achieving their vision. If you have a plan, and would appreciate support, please do get in touch.

Meeting with train line operators, Northern, this month, I was thrilled to learn that there will be significant improvements made to our local services. These include 22 timetabled Sunday services between Barrow and Whitehaven and newly-refurbished rolling stock from 2020. This will see an end to the less reliable Class 37 Locomotives and Pacer trains. The fully refurbished carriages will be equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, device charging points and information boards. It is thanks to groups such as Copeland Rail User Group and Furness Line Action Group for their lobbying over many years that we can look forward to such improvements.

Since Copeland’s water supply has altered to incorporate harder water from boreholes near Egremont, I have been inundated with correspondence. Last week I launched a petition to the Environment Agency to allow United Utilities to draw the entirety of Copeland’s water supply from Ennerdale Water until the completion of the Thirlmere project in 2022. In addition, I have called for an urgent meeting with Copeland’s mayor, Mike Starkie, the Environment Agency, Defra and United Utilities to discuss the proposal. I strongly encourage residents to sign the petition ahead of the meeting to demonstrate the strength of feeling in the community. You can find the petition on my website: www.trudyharrison.co.uk.

Providing our young people with opportunities to broaden their experiences will always be an important aspect of my role as MP and is why it is a pleasure to welcome sixth-form student, Oliver Dorgan from Cleator Moor, onto my team for a summer internship.

He said: “It has been an exciting experience to work with Trudy so far. Every day is different, whether it’s helping a constituent over the phone or meeting the chief executive of the NDA. I have always had an interest in serving our community, whether that’s through politics or charity work. I believe this opportunity has provided the perfect platform to progress that aspiration further.”

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