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West Cumbrian councils consider area's nuclear future

Allerdale Borough Council is being recommended to support a move to exclude county councils from having a say on whether Cumbria should have an underground nuclear waste store.

Both Allerdale and Copeland voted to continue looking at west Cumbria as a possible site in January.

However, the county council used its veto to rule out the plan.

The government now wants to begin a new search with the county council no longer having a veto.

Full Report: Thousands petition against public toilet closure

Thousands of people have signed a petition in West Cumbria against the closure of public toilets.

The facilities in Whitehaven, Cleator Moor and Egremont are now shut.

Cafe owners say people are using their toilets without buying anything which is putting them out of pocket.

It comes as Copeland Borough Council looks to save more than 26 million pounds over the next two years.

Samantha Parker's full report is below.

Nuclear waste debate: Decision day for west Cumbria

Three councils will decide today whether or not they want to look at possible sites to bury high level nuclear waste in west Cumbria.

The executives of Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria County Council's cabinet will hear representations from those for and against moving forward in the process.

Allerdale and/or Copeland can only move progress to search for sites if they have the backing of the county council.

If they decide to go through in depth desk tops studies will look at whether the geology in west Cumbria is suitable.

Cumbria County Council will meet at 10am in Carlisle, Copleand at 10am in Whitehaven and Allerdale at 3pm in Maryport.

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Egremont mineshaft capped

A mineshaft which collapsed in Egremont in November will be capped today, 7th January.

Nine homes were evacuated following the collapse which saw a drilling rig disappear into a 25 metre hole.

The householders were forced to live in temporary accommodation for five weeks as Copeland Borough Council, who own the land, made the area safe.

The residents were allowed to go back home just before Christmas.

Once the mine is capped the area will then be landscaped.

Work continues to make Egremont hole safe

More than 200 tonnes of grout have been used to fill the hole that appeared behind Howbank Road in Egremont on 14th November.

Contractors Forkers will be back at the site on Monday (7th January) to put in place a permanent cap.

The work should be finished by 18th January, before work begins to landscape the area and reinstate the fields and gardens damaged when the hole appeared.

Copeland Borough Council who own the land say the grout column should stabilise the hole and keep the homes near the hole safe.

Those living in the nine homes affected were allowed back home on 21st December although some have chosen not to return.

West Cumbrian drop-in centres

Members of the public in West Cumbria get to have their say about council budget cuts this week.

A series of drop in sessions are taking place over Copeland Borough Councils proposal to cut more than two and a half million pounds by 2015.

Whitehaven's Civic Hall, Library and Tourist Information Centre are being sold off, further proposals include raising parking charges, removing flowerbeds and closing public toilets.