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MP urges ministers to bring in the army to provide emergency support for Cumbrian homes affected by Storm Arwen

December 2, 2021 5:51 PM

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, local MP Tim Farron made the case for more support to be given to communities in Cumbria who are set to be spend their sixth night with no heat or electricity following the devastation of Storm Arwen.

It comes after Tim raised two points of order in the past two days to ask the Speaker why ministers had not been to the House of Commons chamber to make a statement on the crisis.

Speaking in Parliament today, Tim said: "At least 7,000 homes in my constituency have been without power for between three and five nights.

"I am immensely proud of how the way that people in our community have stood up to support their neighbours - they know who they are.

"I am also grateful to those working on the ground for Electricity North West to fix this problem as soon as possible.

"Thousands are still without power in my communities and elsewhere in Cumbria and they feel forgotten.

"Killington, Garsdale, parts of Coniston, Orrest Head, Ayside, High Newton, Low Newton, Witherslack, Hincaster, Lambrigg, Bowston, Hutton Roof, Crook, Outgate, Haverthwaite, Spark Bridge, Backbarrow, and the outskirts of Windermere and many others are facing their sixth night without power.

"Some are being told they still won't have that connection fixed by the 8th of December - this time next week.

"The hardship caused - particularly to the elderly and others who are vulnerable - is unthinkable which is why it's massively disappointing that it has took until Wednesday for a Minister to come to this House to address this issue.

"But it's not too late for the Government to step in.

"So I will ask the Minister to do the following: will he today task ask the army to provide the support for the engineers on the ground in Cumbria, to speed up fixing the problem?

"Will he then use the army as well to ensure that the most vulnerable are contacted and moved into emergency accommodation today?

"And will he also ensure that every affected community in Cumbria is given generators to provide at least a temporary fix, today, so that no one has to spend a sixth night in the cold?"

Responding, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng said: "We are obviously contacting local resilience forums. We're listening to them and actually getting guidance from them as to how best to tackle the situation on the ground.

"He'll also appreciate that Electricity North West have already provided 150 generators and we will be tasking them to see what more can be done to alleviate the extreme stress and challenging situation that many of his constituents I know are facing."