Rishi Sunak: Prime Minister visits Pendle and Burnley
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He then went on a pre-election tour of Burnley before popping into the Crooked Billet pub in Worsthorne.
What did Rishi Sunak say about child poverty in Burnley and Pendle?
Mr Sunak revealed how the Conservative Government would help to level up deprived families and support the nearly 15,000 children living in poverty in Burnley and Pendle.
He said: “I want to make sure children are not growing up in poverty. It’s heart-breaking.
"I’m really pleased that since 2010 the number of children growing up in poverty has fallen.
“If children are growing up in a workless household, they are five times more likely to grow up in poverty."
Some 14,397 children in Pendle and Burnley were living in relative poverty in the year ending April 2022, Department for Work and Pensions stats reveal.
That equates to 7,877 in Pendle and 6,520 in Burnley.
The Prime Minister says the Government is raising the national living wage to record levels and helping parents remain in work by providing more money for childcare providers. It is also extending free childcare hours, starting from nine-months-old in 2025.
But he said the Government “can’t do that overnight” as it would be a “massive reform.”
Should Burnley and Pendle have more funding power to tackle poverty?
Mr Sunak discussed whether local councils should have more devolved powers to decide how Levelling Up funding should be allocated to help their most deprived areas.
Pendle Council spent £141,348 on expert advice to compete with other authorities and make a successful bid for a share of the money.
The PM said spending powers had been put in the hands of councils via the Household Support Fund, giving them extra money to help vulnerable families.
How will the Government help families living in damp and mouldy homes?
Mr Sunak said helping people living in poorly insulated homes “is absolutely the right thing to do.”
He revealed the Government is spending about £6bn to improve the energy efficiency of properties across the country.
Financial measures range from £5,000 grants for households to replace their boiler with a heat pump to social housing schemes.
He also spoke about the new Awaab’s Law, which will force landlords to ensure their homes are free of damp and mould.
It follows the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak in Rochdale, who died of a respiratory condition from living in a mouldy property.
How is the Government improving train services in Burnley and Pendle?
The Prime Minister also spoke about transport in the area and was asked if he would commit to opening the Colne to Skipton rail link.
He said: “Andrew Stephenson has been campaigning about this, and what I can tell you is we are investing record sums in rail."
He cited the Restoring Your Railways fund “to help re-open lines that may have been closed in the past” and how it is “already making a difference in the country.”