Peebles celebrates creative status

The creative community in Peebles are celebrating after coming top in a competition to find Scotland's most creative places.

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Petition against fire services cuts hots up

A petition with more than 40,000 signatures opposed to the proposed cuts to Cumbria's Fire Service has been handed in to Cumbria County Council.

The council have made proposals to cut fire engines from stations at Barrow, Penrith, Kendal, Whitehaven, Maryport, Dalton and Workington.

The plans would help to save £24m from the council's budget, but the Fire Brigades Union says the move would risk lives.

Helen Skelton's church future secured

An ancient church that hosted Cumbria's wedding of the year has been awarded 70 thousand pounds to make urgent repairs. TV presenter Helen Skelton married rugby league star Ritchie Myler in St Michael's in Kirkby Thore near Penrith in December.

The wedding even made the pages of 'Hello' magazine. The church though has been falling into disrepair, but it's future now looks a little more secure, as Fiona Marley Paterson reports.

South Lakeland's Local Plan takes a step forward

Developers are now submitting requests to build on 88 sites in South Cumbria earmarked to create 1000 new affordable homes and 1000 better-paid jobs in the area.

South Lakeland District Council is one of only a few councils in the country to find land for development, rather than waiting for developers to propose sites.

It's hoped it'll meet a housing and job crisis: there are around 3000 families waiting for a housing association home in South Lakeland and many more who can't find an affordable home.

The charity Shelter says fewer than 3% of properties in the area are affordable for families. Less than 1% of people in South Cumbria are unemployed but many are on the minimum wage and can't afford high Lake District prices.

Of the 88 sites, 20 will be for businesses, the rest for housing. Of those sites, 4.2% are brownfield while 95.8% are greenfield. Environmental groups feel that building on greenfield sites is wrong and will damage local habitats.

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