We seem to be having all four seasons at once this week - but Cumbria County Council's highways department says it's well prepared for winter.
Salt and grit stocks are ready for treating the roads - and this year the council is trialling new computer equipment that controls the gritting operation from an office. Fiona Marley Paterson reports.
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The next Northern and Transpennine franchises will bring massive improvements for customers, including removing the outdated and unpopular Pacers, bringing in a brand new fleet of modern trains, and boosting capacity at peak times by a third.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.”
Rail workers from across Cumbria have been protesting outside Cumbria County Council's meeting in Kendal today.Read the full story ›
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.
The Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council received a bigger remuneration package than any other local council employee in the country.Read the full story ›
Plans to cut millions of pounds from public services in Cumbria will be discussed by councillors today.
Cumbria County Council says it has to save an additional 17.5million pounds next year and is putting forward savings proposals for public consultation.
The plans include closing four fire stations, which the council say could shut as the number of fires in the county is decreasing.
Well we've certainly selected fire stations for a number of reasons, one is that the level of risk has reduced, but also that there is a proximity of other fire resources and fire appliances from local stations in close proximity."
Councillors at Cumbria County Council are to get a one percent increase in their allowances.
It was agreed at a council meeting today, and has now come into force.
The Independent Remuneration Panel recommended a significantly higher increase - of 2.2 percent.
Although I welcome the panel’s recommendations and recognise the hard work that they have done, we are in unprecedented financial times.
The challenges we are facing ahead will be very difficult and we will have no choice but to make difficult decisions. With this in mind we felt it was not appropriate that we agreed to take a 2.2% pay rise, especially when in real terms the rate of pay for our staff has gone down despite a national pay increase received by our staff last year.
With this in mind we felt that the only reasonable increase that we could and would consider, would be 1%. I feel that this acknowledges the hard work and commitment of our members, but also recognises the current financial climate within which we find ourselves operating.”
Our report was underpinned by research and consultation with the public, via the local media, questionnaires and using channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
We were particularly impressed with the feedback from the Cumbria Youth Council. We believe that a modest increase in allowances is appropriate even in the challenging financial climate locally and nationally.
Whilst the council didn’t accept our recommendation of 2.2% the Panel feels that the 1% does go some way to recognise the hard work and commitment of the council’s members."
Government inspectors have branded a Penrith care home inadequate in three out of five areas.
The review of Greengarth care home highlights a staff shortage on nightshifts, shortcomings in risk assessments as well as poor management of medicine administration.
Claims of abuse were also raised in the inspectors review.
The service did not always act appropriately when allegations of abuse arose.
The safeguarding systems and processes in place at the home were not effective and people were not protected from the risks of harm or abuse.”
The Care Quality Commission has ordered Cumbrian Care, the council branch in charge of running Greengarth care home, to take significant action to improve the quality of care at the Bridge Lane home.
Greengarth can accommodate up to 39 older people, including those living with dementia.
The council have commented on the claims saying :
In response to initial feedback provided by the CQC in early June, and our own assessment of standards at the home, we have been working hard to address improvements.
We regret that despite the significant effort over recent months, we have not been able to improve standards at the scale and pace required.
Our top priority is the safety and welfare of people living at Greengarth.
In light of the report’s findings social workers are meeting with them, and their families, to decide on the next steps for their care.
We will be undertaking a review to consider the factors that led to this situation, and understand the learning that we can take from it to ensure it does not happen again.”
Cumbria County Council says if the Moorside project goes ahead, the government and NuGen will need to invest in local infrastructure.Read the full story ›
The Conservatives held the Cumbria County Council seat of Greystoke and Hesket in yesterday's by-election.
Tom Wentworth Waites has been elected county councillor to replace Bert Richardson who retired on health grounds.
The results of the by-election were: DERBYSHIRE, Judith Margaret: Liberal Democrat Party - 518.
WENTWORTH WAITES, Thomas William: Conservative Party - 635.
Turnout was 32 per cent.
The political make-up of Cumbria County Council's 84 elected members is now as follows:
Labour: 36 Conservative: 26 Liberal Democrat: 15 Independent/Non-aligned: 5 West Cumbrian Independents: 2