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MP pushes for Carlisle to be 'Super Connected City'

John Stevenson MP

John Stevenson, the MP for Carlisle, is pushing for the city to be included in the 'Super Connected Cities' programme.

He's writing to John Whittingdale, the new Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to ask for Carlisle to be accepted onto the programme.

It would make it easier for small and medium businesses to apply for government funding for broadband.

Over the past five years in Government, the areas surrounding Carlisle have benefitted greatly from the rural broadband initiative that the Government has been encouraging.

Carlisle is home to many SMEs and I do not want them to be disadvantaged. We have to ensure that there are ‘good’ broadband connections in our City, especially connecting to our Industrial Sites such as Kingstown and Rosehill.

I have written to the Minister with the support of local businesses asking if he would consider including Carlisle in the Super Connected Cities programme. We have a good case to make and the outcomes could be quite significant."

– John Stevenson, MP

Poor connectivity has often been cited as a problem for businesses throughout Cumbria.


Sellafield announce £50m contract

Sellafield Ltd Credit: Sellafield Ltd

Sellafield Ltd has announced that it has awarded a new contract, which could rise in value to £50m, to Metalcraft.

The company will produce high-integrity stainless steel storage containers for nuclear waste.

These will be used for the storage of Sellafield's historic nuclear waste.

Sellafield says Metalcraft has committed to a new facility in West Cumbria, and will generate new jobs, apprenticeships and training development.

This announcement demonstrates our total commitment to ensuring value for money for the UK taxpayer and securing a package of benefits to the communities in which we operate, from the annual £1.95bn annual expenditure on Sellafield.

We recognise that how we work with our supply chain can and should play a fundamental part in supporting socio-economic growth and ensuring that we remain the backbone of the community.

Our investment in education, skills and infrastructure must be felt in West Cumbria and the wider UK economy."

– Paul Foster, Sellafield Ltd Managing Director

New privacy system for NHS patients in Cumbria

NHS Credit: PA

A new patient privacy monitoring system has been introduced for hospitals run by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

FairWarning will use electronic patient records to identify patterns of inappropriate and illegitimate access to a patient’s health record and will alert managers.

This is subject to the consent of patients, and it means only people involved in their care can access their records.

Patients and their families trust us to look after lots of personal information about themselves in their clinical records.

I’m proud that we have an excellent track record of keeping information that should be confidential safe and secure.

As we move into an age when clinical records will be kept electronically, I want to reassure everyone that we will have systems that will properly protect their confidentiality."

– Dr Andrew Brittlebank, the Trust’s Caldicott Guardian


Smart new move by Cumbria Police

One of the new devices officers in Cumbria will be using Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria Constabulary is swapping paper for a modern alternative.

For more than 150 years police officers have used notebooks and pencils for logging incident details.

But from today, all the Force's frontline officers will be equipped with hand-held Smart Devices for recording information and assisting with their duties.

Cumbria's Libraries launch e-book borrowing

Credit: Â Martin Schutt

Over 850 e-books are now available from Cumbria's Libraries as the county council launches its first ever e-book lending service.

Just like borrowing a physical book from the library, they will be on loan for 21 days, after which they will disappear from the device.

Customers can have up to two e-books on their device at any one time.

£6,000 has been invested in a secure e-book lending platform and a further £14,000 on purchasing the actual e-books.

This is a very exciting project and something our customers have been asking about for some time now.

E-books are increasingly popular and for many they are the preferred way to enjoy reading and the new electronic collection adds to our stock of over three quarters of a million physical books."

– Tom Holliday, Professional Lead for LibrariesTom Holliday, Professional Lead for Libraries

Scottish Borders Council reviews Technology service

Credit: PA

Scottish Borders Council is reviewing the delivery of its Information and Communications Technology after a report has found that the service is not meeting the needs of its customers.

A strategy has been agreed in principle at a Council meeting, which includes an assessment of value for money as to how the service will be implemented in the future.

Among the options being considered are moves to outsource the majority of technical posts from Edinburgh City Council, or to outsource the entire service. This could mean 80 jobs moving from Newtown St Boswells.

“In order to meet the needs of the Council and the people we serve, we regularly look at how we can deliver our services.

As part of this we have undertaken a review of this service and have been developing a comprehensive ICT strategy and approach for the future.

Members agreed the strategy in principle at Thursday’s Council meeting and approved the next steps in developing a detailed implementation plan.

– Tracey Logan, Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Council
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