ALL NINE North-West MEPs are asking the European Commission for help to stem Cumbria’s economic decline.In a show of unity, MEPs representing Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and UK Independence Party have written to Danuta Hubner, the commissioner for regional policy, to express grave concerns about Cumbria’s performance.
The MEPs wrote: “Cumbria’s economy is among the worst performing in the UK and there is a need for concerted support from EU and UK government sources to address this decline.”
Only five European regions saw their economies shrink between 1995 and 2001 – Cumbria, Berlin and parts of Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic.
Figures for economic growth between 2000 and 2002 show that Cumbria achieved only 77 per cent of the EU average.
The MEPs fear that Cumbria will lose out in its allocation of regional funding when the EU budget for 2007 to 2013 is decided.They said: “Given Cumbria’s serious economic situation, we would welcome the opportunity to explore ways in which we can support the county’s economic development.”
The MEPs who signed the letter are Labour’s Terry Wynn, Gary Titley and Arlene McCarthy; Conservatives Robert Atkins, David Sumberg and Den Dover; Chris Davies and Saj Karim for the Liberal Democrats; and Dr John Whittaker of UKIP.
Source: News and Star, July 12th 2005