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Controversy over West Cumberland Hospital plans

Protestors say their message can't be ignored, after a public meeting about the loss of hospital services in west Cumbria.

Around 4,000 people attended the gathering in Whitehaven last night, and the area's MP Jamie Reed said the huge showing marked a turning point.

Whitehaven is getting a fully functioning new hospital but the protestors are angry that some procedures are being moved to Carlisle, some 40 miles away.

The NHS in Cumbria says it's only being done in a few areas where it's safer for patients.

Tim Backshall was at the meeting.

Survivor urges cyclists to wear helmets

A teenager who was knocked off his bike in Dumfries and Galloway has started a campaign, urging all cyclists to wear a helmet.

15-year-old Alexander Lawson was involved in the accident near Wigtown. He says his bike helmet saved his life and now he wants to raise awareness of how important they can be.

Fiona McIlwraith has this report.

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Police crackdown on vehicles without road tax

Driving without up-to-date road tax and insurance is illegal Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Police in north and west Cumbria are clamping down on vehicles without up-to-date road tax and insurance records.

They worked with staff from DVLA Gateshead Pound in a week-long operation that saw 16 vehicles clamped or seized, and seven on-the-spot fines.

  • Seven vehicles were clamped and seized in Carlisle
  • Four vehicles were seized in Aspatria
  • Two vehicles were seized in Cockermouth
  • One vehicle was clamped in Maryport and one vehicle was seized
  • One vehicle was clamped in Crosby

“We are very pleased with how the operation went and we will look to conduct more in the future. Driving without tax or insurance is illegal and can cause serious implications to law-abiding road users were a collision to occur. We would ask that anyone who believes they can get away without paying for road tax are wrong. Officers will be alerted to vehicles that are being used without road tax and will subsequently target those drivers.”

– Sergeant Gill Atkinson, Allerdale Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team

Inquest into death of security contractor begins

Paul McGuigan and his mother Corrine Boyd-Russell Credit: ITV Border

An inquest into the death of a security contractor who was shot by a colleague in Iraq has begun.

Paul McGuigan, whose mother Corrine is from Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders, was killed in 2009.

Dan Fitzsimons is currently serving a 20-year jail sentence in Iraq for the deaths of Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare.

Health officials: hospital plans will 'save lives'

Health officials say they understand the concerns of the people who demonstrated in west Cumbria last night but say they need to ensure services are safe and save lives.

Around four thousand people went to the town's rugby league ground to question health officials about their plans for the new West Cumberland Hospital, which is nearly finished.

They're worried that some services are being transferred to Carlisle, 40 miles away.

The North Cumbria NHS Trust says only high risk operations have been moved, because of a lack of qualified staff in Whitehaven, and mortality rates have fallen as a result.

Many people raised particular concerns about the future of consultant-led maternity services at the hospital.

But Dr. David Rogers, of NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, says the preferred option is to see it remain in Whitehaven.

After the meeting he spoke to our reporter, Tim Backshall.

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