Sue has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, ahead of his Spring Statement, which he is due to deliver to the House of Commons tomorrow.
In her letter, Sue said:
“I write to you to highlight the shocking scale of child poverty in my constituency of Workington.
“Figures from End Child Poverty show that nearly a quarter of children in my constituency live in poverty, after housing costs are taken into account. In the case of four wards, Moss Bay, Ewanrigg, Holme, and Moorclose, that figure is over a third of children. Across West Cumbria, more than 7000 children are classed as living in poverty. In Sandwith ward, in the neighbouring constituency of Copeland, almost half of the children there live in poverty. Foodbank usage in recent years has risen astronomically. This situation is simply unacceptable and must be urgently turned around.
“In tomorrow’s Spring Statement, you have the opportunity to ensure that no community across the UK misses out on the investment that it desperately needs. It’s time for the Government to act in order to ensure that West Cumbria’s economic prospects remain bright.
“In order to succeed, it’s clear that West Cumbria needs:
· Continued investment in our world-leading nuclear industry
· Funding for much-needed improvements in our local roads and railways
· Support for our local healthcare system, which is working to develop a radical and bespoke system of healthcare delivery for our sparsely-populated rural area
· Government backing for major projects such as the West Cumbria Tidal Lagoon, which will enable us to cut carbon emissions while providing many vital jobs for local people
· Investment in our schools and education system so that all children in Cumbria can enter the world of work equipped with the skills they need for the future, whether they choose to pursue an academic or vocational path
· Funding in place for flood defences, to keep homes and businesses safe from the devastation caused by extreme weather
· Adequate funding for our local councils, so that they can deliver the public services that local people rely on, including properly funded social care and mental healthcare for the most vulnerable in our society, Sure Start children’s centres, and local bus services which provide a lifeline for many people in rural areas
“If Cumbria is to succeed, then it will only do this when it receives the support and investment that it so desperately needs from Whitehall. With the right support in place, then our children will be given an opportunity to succeed, driving prosperity for all.
“In tomorrow’s Spring Statement, I urge you to take bold, decisive action to help communities in West Cumbria, to improve our infrastructure and public services, and to put more money into people’s pockets, ensuring that everyone shares in the growth of our local economy.”