MP welcomes boost for rural communities
Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has welcomed measures in the Chancellor's Autumn statement which will boost rural communities and the infrastructure on which they rely.
In addition to the £290 million already set aside for the dualling of the A1 to Ellingham – which are now in advanced planning stages – Philip Hammond announced a staggering £1.1 billion to upgrade local roads across the nation.
Additionally, fuel duty was frozen for the seventh year in a row, saving motorists £130 per year for the average car and £350 foe the average van.
Mrs Trevelyan said: “This investment both in rural roads and the fuel duty freeze is so important to our communities here in Northumberland, where we rely on our cars to get to work and get the kids to school much more than our friends in big towns and cities with more frequent bus services.
“The north east will also benefit from the announcement that the A66 is to be dualled, which is a great boost to trans-pennine connections.”
Mrs Trevelyan also highlighted the huge investment outlined for broadband of over £1 billion for the roll-out of full-fibre connections, which will disproportionately benefit rural communities: “I continue to work closely with the iNorthumberland and BT team who are working hard to get superfast broadband to our most hard-to-reach villages. This massive new investment will certainly help with that
“I am so pleased ministers have listened when I have told them of the importance of decent broadband connections for the prosperity and growth in our towns and villages.”
Anne-Marie also welcomed the announcement that £500 million would be invested in prison reforms, including on 2,500 more prison officers. The MP has regularly raised her concerns over safety and drug use in HMP Northumberland, and the need for more resources to ensure prison staff can carry out their difficult jobs in safety.