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Talks 'Constructive' says Lord Smith

Talks began today in Edinburgh. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Speaking after convening the first cross-party talks on more powers for the Scottish Parliament, Lord Smith said:

“I was pleased with our meeting today. We have good people round the table, each with their own deeply held views, who have committed to work together to achieve a positive outcome to this process.''

“We had a constructive discussion and agreed some important principles, which will guide us towards an agreement on a package of substantial and cohesive new powers to strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the UK.”

– Lord Smith

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Police investigate 'unexplained death' in Gretna

Sebastian Masiewicz died at the Cumberland Infirmary. Credit: Police Scotland

Police Scotland are making enquiries into the unexplained death of a 30-year-old man in Gretna.

Sebastian Masiewicz, a Polish National, was found unconscious at a house in Loanwath Road on the morning of Sunday 19 October 2014. He was later pronounced dead at the Cumberland Infirmary at Carlisle.

Police are keen to trace Sebastian's movements on the Saturday before his death.

“We are aware that Sebastian had lived in Warwick Road in Carlisle for the past month or so.

"We believe he travelled through to the Stewartry area of Dumfries and Galloway on Saturday afternoon where he went fishing with a friend at Loch Ken and Loch Arthur, before returning to Gretna on Saturday evening, where he arranged to stay overnight with relatives."

– Detective Chief Inspector Laura Mcluckie

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The bee's knees: Cumbrian village most family friendly

St Bees came top of the Family Hotspots report. Credit: ITV Border

A Cumbrian village has been named the best place in Britain to raise a family.

St Bees, which has a population of less than 2,000 people, came top of the Family Hotspots report, which found it had a low crime rate, and strong community spirit.

Crime per capital in the village was 0.11, well below the national average of 0.25.

And another Cumbrian village, Moor Row, also came sixth in the report.

'Terrifying' robbery at Carlisle shop

A knife-wielding robber terrified staff at a shop in Carlisle on Tuesday evening.

At around 10pm the man threatened staff at Spar, on Lamb Street. He was given money from the till and then fled onto Scalegate Road.

He is described as white, 5ft 8” tall with a slim build. He is believed to be between 40 and 50 years old and had grey stubble.

Cumbria Police are appealing for information:

“This incident was terrifying for the staff and customers in the shop. These incidents are rare in Carlisle and we are working to trace the individual responsible.

I would urge anyone with any information, or who may have been in the area at the time, to get in touch.”

– Detective Constable Cath Pattinson

Mortality rates down at North Cumbria hospitals

Changes at North Cumbrian hospitals are saving lives, according to North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Two years ago the Trust was recorded as having one of the highest mortality rates in England, and in 2013 it was visited by a review team who suggested a number of changes.

But since then, it says mortality rates at North Cumbrian hospitals have dropped. The most drastic reductions have been for people suffering from life threatening heart problems, who are now treated at the Heart Centre in Carlisle, as well as patients with broken hips.

"Our teams have been through a lot of change in the past 18 months but it is down to their sheer dedication and commitment to make things better for our patients that we have not only saved more lives but also given patients a better chance of making a fuller recovery and going on to live longer and healthier lives. This is something that each and every member of staff should be very proud of.

"We are under no illusions, however, that there is still a long way for us to go on our improvement journey.

"Our priority, quite understandably, was to focus first and foremost on fixing the very immediate problems related to mortality, but we still have much further to go to make the experience of care for our patients as good, if not better, than the best of the NHS."

– Dr Jeremy Rushmer, Medical Director
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