Cumbria County Council Cllr Tim Knowles quits cabinet
Cumbria County Council might need to cut £50 million off their revenue budget over the next 2 years, the proposals are under consultation
Cumbria County Council's full cabinet is meeting to discuss whether west Cumbria should host an underground nuclear waste store.
Ian spoke to Keith Little, who is the cabinet member for Highways & Transportation at Cumbria County Council, and put it to him that introducing parking charges could sound the death-knell for business in the High Streets.
This was his response:
Traders in a town in West Cumbria have warned that introducing parking charges could cause many businesses that are already struggling in the tough economic climate to close.
Cockermouth is one of a number of towns where the County Council is proposing to get rid of the current free disc parking scheme as they say it costs them too much to run.
Hundreds of traders and shoppers have signed a petition against the idea.
Samantha Parker reports.
Traders in a west Cumbrian town have warned that introducing parking charges could cause many businesses that are already struggling in the tough economic climate to close.
Cockermouth is one of a number of towns where the County Council is proposing to get rid of the current free disc parking scheme as they say it costs them too much to run it.
Hundreds of traders and shoppers have signed a petition against the idea.
Cumbria County Council have issued a full statement in response to criticism from local businesses in Cockermouth over proposals to introduce parking charges in the town.
“The national reduction in funding for local authorities effectively means the county council is losing one in every four which it used to receive to pay for local services.
“As part of the county council’s budget savings consultation, the council is asking people for their views on a series of propositions which include a proposal to introduce targeted on-street parking charges in some built up areas.
“Some areas of Cumbria suffer from traffic congestion and capacity issues with on-street parking availability. The council knows this through its own traffic monitoring information and from Cumbrian residents telling us they would like improved parking controls.
“Cumbria is in a small minority of local authorities which currently do not charge for on-street parking. Most introduced this long ago and its beneficial impact on traffic flow is proven.
“If this measure was adopted in Cumbria, the council would focus its use on high-street and retail areas in town centres where parking is at known to be at a premium. Implementation would be done at local level through Traffic Regulation Orders.
“It is important for people to use the consultation have their say on this, and other savings propositions. This can be done online at www.cumbria.gov.uk/ourfuture or by picking up a copy of the consultation document from local libraries.”
Cockermouth traders are urging shoppers to get behind them and voice their opinions on proposals to introduce on street parking charges.
Currently the town operates a Disc system on its main shopping streets giving visitors and shopped an hours free parking.
The County Council is consulting on plans to introduce payment instead though no details have been decided.
They argue it currently costs them to implement the disc scheme.
They currently need to find £24.4 million pounds of savings and say the metre system would pay for itself.
– Sharron Branthwaite from the Cockermouth Sweet Shop
"We get a lot of repeat visitors with children who are popping in to spend their pocket money.
"The mums and dads won't want to pay for the parking charges.
"This is very unfair especially when we are just getting back on feet after the floods."
Cumbria County Council has announced that its Chief Fire Officer Dominic Harrison has decided to leave the authority.
His decision follows news that a review of the council's senior management team was going to take place, which hoped to make savings of half a million pounds.
– Dominic Harrison
“Although I am sad to be leaving I am confident that this is the right time to make a change in my life and look to do something different, and this was an opportune moment with the senior management restructure.
"I have been in the fire service for over 30 years and am looking forward to finding a new challenge.
"I have enjoyed my time in Cumbria and am very proud of our achievements including the significant reductions in risk, activity and incidents across the county and the improvements in firefighter safety and equipment during my time here in Cumbria.”
The council launched its senior management review on 13 September and completed its 30 day consultation on Friday 18 October.
– Cllr Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council
“Dominic has been key to delivering many improvements across the fire service and to the Safer and Stronger Communities directorate and during his time with the council he has delivered some inspirational initiatives that have supported our most vulnerable people and protected our residents.
"These include initiatives like free home safety checks, improvements to reduce consumer fraud and of course managing the fire and rescue service, which protects us all in times of need.
"I wish Dominic every success in the future in whatever he chooses to do.”
More than 600 people could lose their jobs as Cumbria County Council attempts to balance its books.
The local authority has released budget plans for 2014 and 2015, when it has to save £24 million.
The proposals include paying for parking permits, increasing council tax and cutting the number of fire engines.
Cumbria County Council will explain how it will save £80 million over the next three years due to reductions in central Government funding.
It is estimated that cuts of £24.5 million will have to be made in the coming year.
Care home provider Executive Care has announced that it is closing Branthwaite Nursing Home in Workington.
The care company terminated its contracts with Cumbria County Council and NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
“Senior management at Branthwaite tried to maintain a sustainable operation but believe they are in danger of quickly getting to a position where a safe and professional care environment can no longer be guaranteed for residents.
"The safety and wellbeing of residents is paramount for Executive Care, Cumbria County Council and the CCG.
“There have been a number of long-term and more recent issues that Executive Care has been unable to resolve.
"A recruitment campaign earlier this year met with some success but recent changes to the local healthcare job market has resulted in an increase in staff turnover.
“All three organisations have met and agreed an action plan where the 29 residents are transferred to alternative local care homes. Social services and health have successfully managed similar situations several times in the past.
“Executive Care has met with staff, residents and their relatives."
– Statement from Executive Care, Cumbria County Council and NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group
"On Wednesday senior management at Branthwaite along with a team from health and social care will be meeting residents and families to fully explain the situation, the next steps and points of contact for support.
"Each resident will be allocated a named social worker to manage the transfer and options for relocation to a suitable, alternative home.
“Executive Care is working with staff to secure alternative employment for them. Where possible they will be offered transfers to posts across other homes in the group."
The Corporate Director for Children's Service at Cumbria County Council, Julia Morrison, says that early indications are looking good for students: