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Tonight on Around The House: Coalition fractures and foodbanks

On tonight's political programme from Westminster, Paul Brand and his studio guests discuss the battle lines being drawn between the Coalition parties following the Autumn Statement, as they prepare for the General Election.

Also in the programme; the Archbishop of Canterbury has backed a parliamentary report this week, calling for a united effort to end hunger. Tonight's panel considers the reasons for the growing demand for foodbanks, and the steps needed to tackle food poverty.

You can watch Around The House tonight (Thurs 11 Dec) on ITV at 11.40pm.

Berwick Lib Dem Sir Alan Beith MP (right) joins Paul Brand for tonight's programme Credit: ITV Border

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Solfest to return

The family-friendly three day festival will take place at Tarnside Farm near Aspatria. Credit: ITV Border

One of Cumbria's top music festivals is returning.

Solfest didn't run this year, but organisers have announced it'll be back next August. The family-friendly three day festival will take place at Tarnside Farm near Aspatria.

That's a boost for the region's music scene, as last year Cockrock and the Whitehaven Festival were also cancelled.

11,000 visited Kendal Mountain Festival

It's the biggest outdoor festival of it's kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors, putting the Lake District on the map for outdoor culture. Credit: ITV Border

The 15th Kendal Mountain Festival brought 11,000 people to South Lakeland and generated around £2million to the local economy, say organisers.

The 2014 festival, partly funded by South Lakeland District Council, brought together enthusiasts and experts for a weekend of films, talks and workshops.

Organisers of the festival say the success is down to the "programme mix, award-winning films and the main venue in Kendal.. which has become the hub of the festival."

Read: 15th Mountain Festival descends on Kendal

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'This is a really crucial time for Hawick High Street'

High Streets all over our region have suffered in the past couple of years the sight of closed shops and empty premises is all too familiar.

Today the spotlight was on the town of Hawick, with a visit from a Scottish government minister, who came to see the extent of the problem for himself. Lori Carnochan reports.

Around The House: What might a future coalition look like?

Paul Brand talks to MPs Angus MacNeil, Russell Brown, Sir Alan Beith and James Wharton Credit: ITV Border

On tonight's Around The House, Paul Brand and guests discuss the rise of the SNP, and the impact on Labour and the Lib Dems in Scotland: could there be a future three-way coalition at Westminster?

Also in the programme, what can the Chancellor offer the North in the Autumn Statement, when we are being warned of a another dip in the economy?

Join Paul Brand for Around The House, tonight (Thurs 20 November) on ITV at 11.40pm.

'People have to support their local businesses'

Derek MacKay spent the morning walking around the town with local traders and Borders MSP Paul Wheelhouse. Credit: ITV Border

Derek MacKay, the Scottish Planning Minister, has been walking around Hawick with Borders MSP Paul Wheelhouse to discuss the state of the town's High Street.

Many shops on the High Street are empty and some businesses are struggling. Like many other towns across the south of Scotland and Cumbria, small independent shops are having to compete with large supermarkets.

Local MSP Paul Wheelhouse has praised the positive community spirit, but says that everyone has a duty to support the high street stores.

"A really important message is that people do have to support their local businesses. It's always difficult competing against big supermarkets due to convenience and the likes of easy and free parking. But we no have a duty to work with the local businesses and the Scottish Government to do something about this problem here in Hawick."

– Paul Wheelhouse, MSP for South of Scotland, SNP
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