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Libraries celebrated in Border region

Carlisle Library has been holding events throughout the week.

Activities have been taking place throughout the week in Cumbria and the South of Scotland to mark National Libraries Day.

The event takes place on Saturday, 7 February, and is aimed at encouraging children and adults to use their local libraries.

We'll have more on the events taking place in the Border region in this evening's Lookaround.

Budget plans will 'change Dumfries and Galloway for the better'

The budget plans agreed by Dumfries and Galloway Council will “change Dumfries and Galloway for the better” according to Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson.

The proposals agreed at Full Council today include a commitment to deliver Dumfries and Galloway’s first ever anti-poverty strategy, backed up by a £1m per year anti- poverty fund and proposals to work with the Council’s contractors to roll out the Living Wage across the region.

But opponents of the budget are concerned about the cuts to learning support included in the plans.

Fifty-two learning assistant jobs are set to go as part of an attempt to make £32 million worth of savings over the next three years.

The council says it has set aside £500,000 for a review of learning support services.

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Council to cut learning support jobs

Parents of those who benefit from additional needs services expressed concern over the cuts when they were proposed Credit: ITV Border

Dumfries and Galloway Council has approved its budget for 2015/16 to 2017/18.

It has decided to cut 52 learning support jobs in an effort to make savings of £32 million.

Parents throughout the county have expressed concern over these cuts, with the Scottish Children's Commissioner writing a letter yesterday that called for a delay to the decision.

Council 'surprised' to receive letter.

The council was surprised to receive the letter Credit: Scotland’s Commissioner for Children & Young People

The Dumfries and Galloway Council has said it was surprised to receive a letter from Scotland’s Commissioner for Children & Young People.

Tam Baillie's letter called for a delay to the council's decision to cut over fifty learning support jobs.

The council claims that Mr Baillie had failed to contact them before entering into the debate.

"In light of the media interest on Monday, the Council had already contacted the Commissioner’s office to give assurance as well as to provide summary information on the review and the necessary background and also offer the opportunity to engage with the Council.

"It would appear the Commissioner sent his letter before he had the opportunity to review any of this information or speak directly with the Council.

"Apart from this letter, the Commissioner has not contacted the Council, however the Council has again offered the Commissioner the opportunity to engage with our education team on these proposals and we hope he takes up this offer."

– Spokesperson, Dumfries and Galloway Council

The council's decision over the cuts is due today.

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Pupils praise play

Pupils at William Howard School have praised the use of a play to teach them about child sex education.

The play was funded by the Cumbria Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and highlights how both boys and girls can be groomed by adults.

Students say the play was better than just being told about the issue.

Play tackles tough issues

The play tackles the issue of child sex exploitation Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have provided funding for an educational play to visit Cumbrian schools.

The play, which is aimed at students aged between 12 and 15, highlights the issue of child sex exploitation, and how both boys and girls can be groomed by adults .

More than 100,000 parents, pupils, and teachers in the UK have already seen the play, which has been well-received so far.

Today, it visited William Howard School in Brampton.

The play visited William Howard School today Credit: ITV Border
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