More than seven thousand homes and businesses across Cumbria flooded in last year's devastating storms, new analysis shows.
The study, by the Local Government Association, says that 6,568 homes and 897 businesses were affected in the county. That's almost half of all the properties hit in the eight worst-affected parts of the UK.
The Association says councils are still helping flood-hit homes to recover from the disruption caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank.
Ahead of this winter, town halls are encouraging people to be prepared for future flooding, by taking steps such as checking if they are at risk, signing up to free warnings and identifying what to take with them if they need to evacuate their premises.
Council leaders are calling for future flood defence to be devolved by the Government to local areas so that councils can work with communities and businesses to ensure money goes to projects that best suit local needs.
Martin Tett, a LGA environment spokesman, said: "Councils are doing everything they can to protect households and businesses from the possibility of further devastating flooding this winter.
"Such was the severity of last year's storms, some councils, who have experienced significant reductions to their core funding, are still helping residents to recover even now."
He said devolving funding to local areas would support projects that reflected needs such as protecting key roads and bridges to keep residents and businesses moving.
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A new plastic £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill will begin to appear in people's wallets after going into circulation next weekRead the full story ›
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Banking giant HSBC has announced it will close its Windermere branch.
The doors will shut on 21 October with the bank claiming it is not commercially viable for it to stay open.
Customers will now have to travel to Kendal for the nearest branch, a journey of around 20 minutes by car.
Local MP Tim Farron has urged HSBC to reconsider the planned closure.
When HSBC’s Ambleside branch closed in 2012, we were told customers would be moved to Windermere. Now they will be shunted all the way to Kendal. Elderly residents want to be able to nip in to their local branch, not spend hours on the bus simply to access their savings.
Banks must consider the needs of the local community before cutting ties with the areas they are supposed to serve.
A major revamp of Stranraer town centre is set to be approved next week.
Dumfries and Galloway councillors are being asked to agree the £3.5 million regeneration scheme that would see key buildings refurbished and public areas improved.
Business leaders from across Cumbria have been hearing about the state of the global economy at a special lecture organised by the University of Cumbria.
It was part of the university's aim to share knowledge and expertise by bringing business experts to the county.
"It's really important because we're a regional university but we are globally connected and anything we can do to elevate global issues to our business community and to our students is vitally important."
Police are warning businesses in the Scottish Borders to watch out for counterfeit money.
Since the start of this week, there have been three reports of fake bank notes being used at shops throughout East Lothian and the Borders.
On Monday, 23 May, two shops were targeted in Dunbar and North Berwick.
On the following day a store in Coldstream confirmed it had also received counterfeit currency.
On each occasion, the notes were reported to be of a “high-quality”, and appeared legitimate on first sight.
The notes are all Bank of England £20 notes, with either the serial number “AH03 269110” or “HH11 227632”.
It is a criminal offence to hold or pass a note that you know to be counterfeit. I would ask the public to be aware of the recent circulation of counterfeit currency, and to check any paper notes they have received lately to ensure they are legitimate.
If anyone suspects they have been handed or found a fake bank note, they should retain it and contact the police immediately.
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The World Of Beatrix Potter™ Attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere and National Trust in The Lakes are the first places in country you can receive a special Petter Rabbit 50p circulating coin in your change.
The coin has been created to mark Beatrix Potter's 150th anniversary, and will go into the tills in the Lake District on Easter weekend from Saturday 26 March 2016.
It is the first time a children's book character has appeared on a coin.
Where can you get one?
The coins will be going into the tills at the following attractions;
- Hill Top
- Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead
- Wray Castle in the Lake District
- The World Of Beatrix Potter™ Attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere
When Beatrix Potter first published Peter Rabbit, back in 1902, the income from the sales of the book allowed her to buy Hill Top, in 1905, so it is fitting that the first coins will only be available in the Lake District.