Member of Parliament for Wansbeck, Ian Lavery has submitted an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for the Government to “not lay the burden of the coronavirus debt’ at the doors of Towns across the country, including those in his constituency.

Mr Lavery submitted the motion (known as an EDM) which is designed to force action from the Government, following the publication of a report by the Centre for Towns and the University of Southampton. The report lists towns across the UK in the order of those which are most economically at risk from the Coronavirus Pandemic. Included in the report, in the top 50% of those most at risk, are all major towns in Mr Lavery’s Northumberland Constituency; Bedlington, Ashington and Morpeth. According to the data from the report Ashington places 88th on the list, along with two other high-rated Northumbrian towns; Berwick-upon-Tweed (a shocking 59th) and Blyth (86th), putting three of the biggest towns in the county in the top 100 nationally.

In the EDM, which is titled ‘Economic Risk of the Coronavirus Pandemic’ Mr Lavery states: “this House notes the research conducted by the Centre for Towns and the University of Southampton detailing the towns most economically at risk from the Coronavirus pandemic; notes that the most at risk communities are coastal and ex-industrial towns where deprivation is already entrenched after decades of neglect and 10 years of austerity; and calls upon the Government to ensure the recovery from the pandemic targets huge financial interventions at the communities affected and does not lay the burden for the Coronavirus debt at their doors.”

Many other MPs are expected to add their signatures to support Mr Lavery’s motion and speaking after submitting this to the House of Commons’ Table Office Mr Lavery said; “It is vitally important that in addition to protecting our communities, our population, our responders and key workers from the impact of this terrible virus that we also take the steps necessary as a country to protect our economy and those of local communities across the UK. The Government must act and protect these disproportionately affected areas from further damage that could leave scars for generations to come.”

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