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Loan shark campaign sinks teeth into Cumbria

A campaign, which will encourage people to stay away from loan sharks, is visiting West Cumbria Credit: ITV

"Sid the Shark" will be taking to the streets of West Cumbria as part of a campaign aimed at cracking down on illegal money lenders.

The week of action will try to encourage people to stay away from loan sharks. Sid will be walking around Whitehaven and Workington to promote the message.

  1. National

Salmond hits out at 'Treasury leak' over flight of banks

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has accused the UK Government of "scaremongering" over the possible flight of businesses to England in the event of a Yes vote.

He told BBC Radio Scotland that a source "within the Treasury" had leaked information about RBS and other banks making contingency plans to move operations south.

He said the official announcements later issued by the banks "makes clear there's no impact on operations or jobs".

He also told reporters there would be an "inevitable investigation" into the leaking of "market sensitive information".


  1. National

Lloyds to move HQ out of Scotland if yes vote

Lloyds Banking Group has confirmed it would move its headquarters out of Scotland in the event of a Yes vote in the referendum.

Currently their headquarters are in Edinburgh but the bank has confirmed it would move them south to London.

  1. National

Cameron: If you leave the UK, you leave the currency

The Prime Minister has told voters in Scotland: "We should be clear that if you leave the UK, you leave the currency, you leave the pound."

The currency issue has been at the heart of the independence debate Credit: Lewis Stickley/PA Wire

He also said he thought the former prime minister Gordon Brown was "spot on" when he unveiled a timetable for devolution.

"Not often you see me and Gordon in absolute agreement," he added.

79-year-old narrowly avoids £10,000 scam

Police advise that if people are in doubt about an organisation calling, to hang up and right the bank directly or call the police Credit: PA

A taxi driver has managed to save a 79-year-old man being scammed of £10,000.

The 79-year-old from Moffat had a call from someone pretending to be from the Fraud Office of the victim's bank. The man was told to travel to his bank, withdraw £10,000, take it home and await further instructions.

The man was about to carry out the instructions, however en route to his bank by taxi, he told the driver the story who realised it was a scam and aborted the journey. The matter was reported to the police.

Police ask people to be aware of potential scams and if in doubt, to hang up the phone and call the bank directly or call the police.

Free meals for 15,000 Cumbrian children

Around 15,000 children in Cumbria from reception class to Year 2 got a free hot lunch when they went back to school today.

The Government has given Cumbrian schools more than a million pounds to spend on kitchen refurbishments and dining room extensions, to accomodate the extra numbers.

Some schools say they'll be out of pocket in paying more staff but for others it means they can provide free school meals for the first time. Fiona Marley Paterson reports.


Free school meals 'unacceptable' cost to taxpayers

Free school meals will be available to those in reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Credit: PA

Around 15,000 children in Cumbria in reception to year 2 will get a free hot lunch when they go back to school.

Cumbria County Council says some children wouldn't otherwise get a hot meal so it's important to give children a good start in life, and helps their concentration in lessons.

However, the Institute of Economic Affairs warns it won't benefit families most in need:

“The launch of universal free school meals is an unacceptable use of taxpayers' money. Avenues of support already exist for those households in need and implementing such a policy will see the taxpayer fund the children of affluent families. The government would be better placed to introduce a £437 tax cut each year and provide parents with some choice.

If the government is serious about easing the cost of living for low and middle earners, providing free school meals is a poorly targeted tool which will do little to help those feeling the squeeze. Planning liberalisation and deregulating the energy sector to bring down the cost of fuel and property, is a far more effective way to reduce the financial burden on families.”

– Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs

Smokers' social care costs Cumbria £12million

The charity says that smoking is costing Cumbrians a total of £12million Credit: PA

New research from a charity against smoking has suggested that councils should take up more preventative measures to reduce the cost of smoking to social care.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) says that people in Cumbria, including authorities, pay a total of £12million on social care for people over 50 with smoking-related illnesses to live at home.

When broken down, it means that the local authorities would have had to spend almost £7million in 2012 to 2013, which equates to 428 state-dependent individuals.

People over 50 have paid a total of £5million for their own care. In addition, the scheme says that almost 10,000 more people receive care from family and friends, although these statistics have not been included.

The scheme says that at a time when budgets are being cut, councils will benefit from enforcing preventative measures, such as supporting smokers to quit:

“Investing in tobacco control and supporting smokers to quit will have to be high on the list of preventative measures to enable councils to cut their social care bills in the future. Our research has funding estimates for every top tier English local authority to help councils plan and cost services at local level more effectively.'

– Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH

Meal scheme allows school 'to think differently'

Around 15,000 children in Cumbria in reception to year two will get a free hot lunch when they go back to school.

The government's given Cumbrian schools £1.15million to spend on kitchen refurbishments and dining room extensions. Some schools say they'll be out of pocket in paying more staff but for others it means they can provide free school meals for the first time.

Police must save £10million in 3 years

Jerry Graham, Cumbria's new Chief Constable, has said that the police will need to make further savings of £10.4million by 2017 to 2018.

Cumbria Constabulary have already saved £16million by changing the way the force works. Despite having to make cuts, Jerry Graham is still committed to providing the 'best possible policing service':

'Where appropriate we will be undertaking public consultation and will be listening to the views of local people. We will keep the public updated on any planned changes that may affect their policing service.

Change is required due to budget cuts, but I am focused on protecting frontline policing as far as possible. I will continue to work hard to keep Cumbria one of the safest places to live, work, and visit, and provide the best possible policing service we can afford.'

– Chief Constable Jerry Graham

The areas that are currently being reviewed are:

  • Shift patterns
  • Neighbourhood Policing Team structure
  • Community safety delivery
  • Role definition and deployment of PCSOs
  • Command and control
  • Criminal justice
  • Administration across the force
  • Printing
  • Front counters
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