The cost of free school meals

From September Cumbrian schools will have an extra £1.15m to make sure all 4-7 year olds get free school meals.

Fostering: The facts

As week two of Foster Care Fortnight begins we're taking a look at what fostering is and who is eligible to do it.

Lakes family slams travel subsidy cuts

Lake District Family say they'll have to pay £1,200 for their son to get to school, following travel subsidy cuts by Cumbria County Council

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Controversial on-street parking charges approved

Controversial on-street parking charges have been approved by Cumbria County Council despite huge opposition.

Some people are opposed to the scheme as they believe it could be bad for business by discouraging visitors to park nearby but the Coucil say they need the money for parking enforcement.

Mark Oxley, owner of the shop 'Games Without Borders', thinks it will be extra cost for motorists:

The 11 places set to be affected are Carlisle, Penrith, Kendal, Barrow, Workington, Whitehaven, Maryport, Keswick, Cockermouth, Windermere and Bowness and Ambleside.

The Council has to save millions of pounds due to cuts from central Government and says it had no choice but to make the decision.

Cllr Keith Little, Labour Cabinet Member for Highways told ITV News "it's not about paying for a full hour, there will be an hour or two hours restriction in some areas but you can pay for 15 or 20 minutes and then just move on so it's not a huge financial burden."

Goodbye to free parking in Cumbria

The amount that people will pay will be determined by Community Councils Credit: ITV Border

Free parking could come to an end in most of Cumbria as a meeting is held to discuss how to introduce charges.

Eleven towns have been deemed suitable, including Carlisle, Penrith and Workington. Cumbria Council plan to join many other counties that require payment in popular towns and cities. It's hoped that this will also reduce congestion.

The charge will be introduced due to a shortfall in the Council's budget.

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Potential foster carers fear rejection

People have been urged not to rule themselves out of fostering children after a poll found nearly a third of adults believed they would not be accepted as foster carers if they applied.

Some 28% of 4,818 UK adults questioned by YouGov said they would expect to be turned down if they applied in the next two years.

Many under 25 and over 55 believed their age would count them out, while others cited their living arrangement as the reason they feared they would be turned down.

There are 52,500 foster families looking after 63,000 children across the UK Credit: PA

Fostering Network chief executive Robert Tapsfield said: "It doesn't matter if you are single or living as a couple, how old you are, or whether you have children, a job or own your own house.

"What matters is that you have the skills and experience to look after children separated from their own families, who have often been abused or neglected."

The Fostering Network estimates 8,600 families are needed this year alone, particularly to look after teenagers and children with disabilities.

More than 600 children in Cumbria need a foster home

Foster Care Fortnight begins today and Cumbria County Council is backing the campaign.

They're asking everyone in the county to consider whether they have what it takes to become foster parents.

More than 600 children in Cumbria are currently in need of foster care but, there are only 200 fostering households.

The council hope they will be able to spend the next two weeks dispelling any myths about fostering.

Kirkbride bridge safety barrier to be installed

Work to improve the safety of Howwath Bridge in Kirkbride will begin this weekend.

Last year 37-year-old Russell Long died in a crash on the bridge, prompting concern over its safety.

Work will take place between Saturday 12 and Wednesday 16 April to install a safety barrier.

Cumbria county council say that bridges like this are structurally inspected every two years.

The last inspection of Howwath Bridge was carried out in June 2012 and there were no concerns about it's structure.

"The approach wall where the tragic incident took place does appear to have a cornerstone missing, but this was not deemed a structural fault in the last inspection or any previous inspections. We cannot find any records of any safety concerns being raised to the county council about the missing cornerstone by drivers, the local community or parish council.

"Replacing the cornerstone would not make the bridge safer. If vehicles are at risk of hitting the bridge at this point, then a large stone wall is not the right safety measure – a road safety barrier is."

– Spokesman, Cumbria County Council

The road will be reduced to a single lane with traffic light controls while work is carried out.

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