People have to accept that change is necessary

Date: Tuesday 30th October 2018

Sir, Anyone looking at the map of Cumbria can see that Penrith stands at the major crossroads of the M6 and A66, capable of being so much more than it is now.

That is what the Penrith strategic masterplan is about. Its long-term aim is to bring a better quality of life via more commerce and industry and more realistically priced housing, so that those young people who do go on to further education elsewhere will come back and bring the benefits of what they have learned to their home county.

Note that the masterplan is not saying “It will be done this way, whatever you think”.

The withdrawal of the Beacon site indicates that what local people say does have an effect. I totally see the point and would feel the same way if I thought any similar asset on my doorstep was being threatened.

Now is the time for those same local people to accept that change is necessary to keep Penrith viable and help it progress, by sending responses about what they would like to happen, not just what they wouldn’t like to happen.

What is this to do with me? As a resident of Appleby and a district councillor for Kirkby Stephen, with a background as a local councillor elsewhere, I am, like my councillor colleagues, committed to making a positive difference to people’s lives, however corny it might sound.

As a member of Eden District Council I hope to continue to do this in however small a way. They say a camel is a horse designed by a committee and, being realistic, when many people give their views these may take many different forms. I hope that when the results of the consultation are analysed the animal that emerges will be one capable of being ridden into a great future for Penrith.

The consultation period ends on 2nd November. Until then copies of the masterplan and information on how to comment on it are on display in the library and in the reception area of Penrith Town Hall during their opening hours. Yours etc,


(Eden councillor for Kirkby Stephen)

By email