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Government 'doing all it can' for dairy farmers

The Government has responded to concerns raised about dairy farmers in the current market, listing measures it believes helps farmers.

The measures include the opportunity for farmers to come together and create producer organisations.

The Government believes this will give farmers more power within the marketplace.

It has also brokered an industry code of practice, which it believes will give farmers a fairer deal.

"We understand the concerns of British farmers over the current pressures on milk prices caused by the volatility of the global market and we are doing all we can to help manage this.

"This includes giving dairy farmers the opportunity to unite in producer organisations so they have greater clout in the marketplace.

We have also brokered a dairy industry code of practice on contractual relationships to improve transparency and give farmers a fairer deal, which now covers 85% of UK dairy production."

– GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON

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David Mundell: dairy industry needs support

MP David Mundell has asked banks and retailers to support the dairy industry Credit: PA

David Mundell has called on banks and retailers to support the dairy industry until it comes out of the current surplus in supply.

The MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale, and Tweeddale argues that is in nobody's interests to see local dairy farmers go out of business as milk prices slump.

" I have written to Chief Executives of all the major Scottish Banks and retailers asking that they bear with and support local dairy farmers during this very difficult time.

"There is no benefit in seeing dairy farmers being driven out of business because of short term difficulties due to global oversupply, with the result that when the price recovers we don't have a viable industry left locally or in the UK."

– David Mundell, MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

His comments come as MPs in Westminster argue that dairy farmers in the UK need more protection from over-supply and falling prices.

MPs call for protection of British farmers

Britain's dairy farmers need greater protection, according to MPs Credit: PA

The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has called for the protection of dairy farmers in the UK, as the low price of dairy products continue to cause problems.

The total number of UK dairy famers fell to below 10,000 for the first time in December, as declining prices of dairy products proved unsustainable for some.

Prices have fallen over the last year as supply has outstripped demand.

The decrease in demand is due in part to decreasing exportation to China and to Russia, following its ban on European dairy products, implemented in response to actions taken in Ukraine.

The MPs' comments come a week after some farmers in the country were forced to wait for payment from the UK's biggest milk supplier.

Farmers in the Borders have been protesting low prices over the last few months.

Local firms begin work on Old Town Hall

The second stage of work has started on Carlisle's Old Town Hall Credit: ITV Border

Local firms have begun phase two of the reconstruction work to Carlisle's Old Town Hall.

The construction company Cubby Construction and architects Johnston and Wright are working together to complete the improvements to the Grade I listed building.

The City Council owns and manages the historic building and is financing the £650,000 project.

The ground floor of the building is let to local businesses and will remain open during the construction period.

However Carlisle’s Tourist Information Centre, normally found on the building's first floor, will be temporarily relocated to 40 Scotch Street.

Replacement brickwork completed in the first phase of construction Credit: ITV Border

The first phase of restoration work included roof repairs, works to the external walls, refurbishment and replacement of some windows, internal works to the tourist information centre and new carpets and decoration.

It was completed in 2013.

The second phase, which will include a comprehensive upgrade of the Tourist Information Centre, is due to be completed by July 2015.

“The second phase of works will continue with our programme to restore and repair one of our key historic buildings.

"The improvements will reinforce its role as a visitor attraction and destination.

"We hope it will create renewed interest in the building and encourage additional visitors, including local residents."

– Cllr Anne Quilter, Portfolio holder for Culture, Leisure and Young People

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Cumbrian petrol station could get tax rebate

Rural petrol stations could claim back 5p per litre in tax Credit: PA

A petrol station in Cumbria could claim back up to 5p per litre in tax within a few months.

Moorland Service Station Ltd, in Kirkby-in-Furness, could benefit from a scheme by the government to bring down fuel prices in rural areas.

The proposals need approval from the European Council before they can be implemented.

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