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MP seeks better emergency response plan for Stainmore

Rory Stewart MP with Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue and Stainmore residents

Rory Stewart MP has paid a visit to the community on Stainmore to hear about their experiences, after they were completely cut off by Storm Emma.

Residents in the small, remote community found themselves isolated when deep snow and huge drifts blocked the roads and almost entirely submerged the ground floor of some properties. After five days Cumbria County Council called in the military to assist, and a Chinook helicopter was brought in to drop supplies, including food, coal and logs for heating and electrical heating appliances.

Local farmers and Mountain Rescue worked hard to assist local residents, by clearing roads and snow drifts, and digging people out of their properties, but residents told their MP that the response from Cumbria County Council could have been better.

Rory Stewart said: “These communities are incredibly self-sufficient and resilient. They have emerged positive after a very difficult time, but they would like to see a more organised emergency response plan in place, so I will be asking Cumbria County Council to set up a meeting with key stakeholders from affected communities to identify lessons learned and ensure that should this happen again, they are better prepared to support remote communities such as Stainmore.

“My thanks goes out to all those individuals who stepped up to help their neighbours, particularly the local farming community and Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue. Without them, many people may have been stranded for much longer, and I am incredibly grateful for their efforts.”

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