Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, has written to the Prime Minister asking for increased funding for rural constituencies that voted to leave the European Union.
Following recent reports that the Government is considering proposals from a group of Labour MPs, in predominantly Leave-supporting constituencies, to allocate more funds to their communities, Mr Evans has urged the Prime Minister to extend any incentives and funding to all rural constituencies that voted to leave the European Union.
Mr Evans said: “Public services are important to everyone, but in rural areas they take on a particular significance. Rural constituencies are facing an uphill battle to keep hold of all the necessary resources for day-to-day life.
“There is increasing pressure on rural high streets to stay open, public transport links are dropping at an alarming rate and in outlying villages doctors surgeries are further apart and often elderly residents face challenging journeys if current services close.
“Following the closures of the Clitheroe Police Station’s front desk over the last year and the threat of closure of Slaidburn Health Centre, I felt it necessary to urge the government to extend any plans for funding incentives to all rural constituencies that voted to leave the European Union.”
However, Giles Bridge, chairman of Ribble Valley Labour Party, asked why Mr Evans is asking the Government for more rural funding when he voted last week for cuts to local authority budgets.
“Nigel Evans now appears to accept that austerity has not worked, by asking for a Brexit dividend for leave voting areas," said Mr Bridge.
"Cuts to public services have had a cruel impact to both rural and urban areas across the country. Yet Nigel Evans still votes for austerity. Last week, in Parliament, he voted for further cuts to local authority budgets. Why does Nigel say one thing in a press release and vote the opposite way in Parliament?”
“The no deal Brexit Nigel advocates would reduce the size of the economy by 7% over 15 years, according to the Bank of England, leading to another recession. A fall in the pound would increase inflation as imports such as food would become more expensive. The result would be that we would all be poorer. Business needs certainty to plan and invest for the future. We do not have that with the current Tory government.”