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Department for Transport responds to rail protest

The Department for Transport was responding to criticism from the RMT. Credit: ITV Border

The Department for Transport has released a statement in response to protests from the RMT union, about proposals to cut ticket staff jobs.

The rail and transport union is protesting outside Cumbria County Council's meeting in Kendal today, because the Government has decided that local authorities will have more say over local rail services:

The next Northern and Transpennine franchises will bring massive improvements for customers, including removing the outdated and unpopular Pacers, bringing in a brand new fleet of modern trains, and boosting capacity at peak times by a third. It’s part of our ambitious one nation plan to transform transport infrastructure and build a Northern Powerhouse to create a balanced, healthier economy.

We recognise the value of customer-facing staff on the railways, which is why we are not specifying any staff cuts in the new franchises. Giving drivers responsibility for opening and closing doors frees up on-board staff to provide the high level of customer service that passengers deserve.”

– DfT spokesperson


Allerdale Council asking residents where to make cuts

Allerdale Borough Council Credit: Allerdale Borough Council

Residents in west Cumbria are being asked for their views on how £3.5 million can be cut from public services in Allerdale over the next four years.

Allerdale Borough Council has launched a public consultation that runs until 14 January and is urging as many people as possible to contribute.

The council says savings are needed due to a reduction in funding the authority receives from central government.

Protests expected over fire and rail cuts

The council has proposed closing fire stations. Credit: ITV Border

Opponents of plans to cut fire stations and axe rail jobs in Cumbria are expected to stage protests in Kendal today.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union and the RMT rail union are set to gather outside Cumbria County Council's full council meeting, to object to proposals to close five fire stations and cut train guard posts.

Cumbria Police cuts: your views

Cumbria Constabulary has proposed raising the amount of council tax the public pays for policing, as well as cutting the number of frontline officers, to meet budget cuts.

Here are some of your views:


Cuts could increase the harm that officers face

Martin Plummer, the Chairman of Cumbria Police Federation, has voiced concerns about the proposed plans to cut 155 officers.

He argues that the cuts could increase the harm that each officer faces on a daily basis.

New proposals broken down

The county's police and crime panel - made up of local councillors - met today to discuss the proposed budget for 2015/2016.

The Commissioner will agree the final budget at the meeting of Executive Board on 3 February but at the moment, the plans are as follows:

  • council tax up by 1.9%
  • £3.96 increase for Band D Property
  • 155 frontline officers to be cut by 2019
  • 32 officers to be dropped over the next year due to increased technology efficiency
  • 79 staff members to be cut over the next year due to 'digitalisation of back office'
  • the number of PCSOs to stay at 95 for the next 12 months.

Chief Constable welcomes council tax increase

“I welcome the increase of the policing element of the council tax precept, as this is an important element in supporting policing and public safety in Cumbria.

"As I have previously stated the Constabulary faces major financial challenges and current budget forecasts show that a further £10.8 million needs to be saved by 2018/19.

“Change is challenging, and is required of us due to severe budget cuts; however we are committed to providing a viable independent police force. We will continue to develop and utilise innovative digital and mobile working, while protecting frontline policing as much as possible.

“I remain committed to providing the best possible policing service we can afford for the people of Cumbria.”

– Chief Constable Jeremy Graham
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