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Payouts for potholes rises

The number of payouts for damage caused by potholes increased last year Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The number of payouts for damage caused by potholes went up last year in Cumbria.

272 claims were made against the Cumbria County Council for damage caused to their vehicles, a rise of 22 from the following year.

Only 15% of claims were successful, with the council paying out £16,000 in compensation.

Council gives plain cigarette packets thumbs up

Cumbria County Council has welcomed news plain cigarette packaging could come into force in England by 2016.

Cigarette packets could be plain from May 2016. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The government has announced MPs will vote on the plan before the General Election in May.

If it passes, the law will mean packets need to be dull brown outside, and white inside.

The legislation won't apply to Scotland - unless Holyrood introduces similar rules.


Drop-in sessions for investment in Lakes

Cumbria County Council has organised two more drop-in sessions for people to discuss its plans for £2 million of investment on roads in the Lakes.

People can give their views and ideas at events being held on:

  • Tuesday 20 January, 11am-2pm, at Windermere Room at Brockhole, Lake District Visitor Centre.
  • Wednesday 21 January, 12noon-3pm, at Bowness Bay Information Centre, Glebe Road, Bowness on Windermere.

The council says the plans will affect four "key locations": Glebe Road, Bowness-on-Windermere, and the A591 at Brockhole, Low Wood Bay, and Town End, Grasmere.

The council is keen to hear public feedback.

“The response from local communities to the first round of community drop-in events was encouraging, with many sharing their views.

"We want to hear what people have to say about these locations, to help us design effective improvements."

– Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for transport

Anyone unable to attend the latest drop-ins can view the plans on the council's website, and should email by the 31st of January.

Proposal to widen choices of staying independent

There could be a wider choice of accommodation for those who require care but want to continue to live independently.

Cumbria County Council is proposing the investment of up to £6million in Extra Care Housing, which is similar to sheltered housing.

It is believed this will save £500,000 on more costly care options, such as funding places in residential homes.

“Extra care housing means that more people will be able to live in their own home as their needs change, knowing they have the security of access to on-site care and support.

"For several years, we’ve been responding to the growing demand and different social care needs of older people who want to live independently by investing in extra care housing.”

– Cllr Beth Furneaux, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member for Adult Social Care

Each scheme is built in partnership with a housing association.

The council currently supports 12 schemes around the county with four more expected to be completed during 2015/2016.

Council cuts: last chance to have your say

People have just one week left to respond to Cumbria County Council's savings proposals.

The council is inviting people to give their views on issues including the level of council tax and the changes the council should make as it strives to save £213 million a year by 2018.

The council says feedback is important as these changes will impact the public, with the council set to cut 1,800 jobs over the next three years:

"The council has to make tough decisions given the magnitude of the savings we need to find. We have already predicted we are going to need to lose 1,800 jobs over the next three years and the council will be roughly half the size it was at the start of the decade.

"That is going to affect individuals, families and the local economy."

– Cllr Patricia Bell, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member

More than 400 individuals and organisations have responded since the council began its 12 week ‘Secure your future' consultation in October.

Council leaders demand more powers for English regions

The leader of Cumbria County Council has called for more powers to be given to the English regions.

Stewart Young is one of more than 100 council leaders who are demanding changes from the Government. They've written to the Chancellor, George Osborne, following the plans to devolve extra powers to Scotland.

The leaders believe the English regions would be able to manage the cuts to their budgets more effectively and say continuing the current system is no longer an option.


Council to move to new £10 million HQ

Cumbria County Council is to move to a new headquarters, costing £10 million, in Carlisle city centre.

More than 20 crumbling and delapidated offices will now be closed to be replaced by the new building on Botchergate.

As Paul Crone reports, council officials insist the move will save a million pounds each year in running costs.

Virtual tour: Council HQ plans approved

Plans for a new Cumbria County Council headquarters in Carlisle have been approved.

The 10 million pound base is part of a restructure that will see the council move from twenty-two properties in the city to just two. Officials say the move will save around a million pounds every year.

Click below to take a virtual tour around the plan of the new building:

Deciding plans on £10 million council HQ

Plans of how the £10m HQ will look. Credit: Cumbria County Council

Cumbria County Council's cabinet meet today to decide on plans for a new £10 million headquarters in Carlisle.

It's part of a restructure that will see the council move from 22 properties in the city to just two, a move officials say will save around a million pounds a year.

Plans of how the £10m HQ will look. Credit: Cumbria County Council

Careful of 'free trials' warns council

"If something looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. A free trial could end up costing you a lot of money.” Credit: PA

People in Cumbrian are being urged to be avoid ‘free’ trials of goods after some people have been charged up to £95 a month for “free” products.

Shoppers are invited to sign up for a free trial of a product where they’ll pay around £5 for postage and packing. But unless the trial is cancelled within 14 days, monthly payments may be made automatically which could be anything up to £95 a month.

Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards team is urging shoppers to read the terms and conditions when signing up for a supposed ‘free' trial.

If people are worried they’ve been targeted by this type of scam, they should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.

"This typically happens on the internet. It’s a widespread problem. The scams involve all kinds of products including anti-ageing miracle creams and serums, health supplements and slimming aids. They’re different products, but all the scams are virtually all the same.

When the product arrives the paperwork contains the small print or terms and conditions. This type of scam is operating on a wide scale and the companies doing this are often based abroad, some as far away as the USA. Consumers should be on their guard; if it mentions repeat billing and it’s a free trial that requires you to cancel then it’s probably a scam.

If something looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. A free trial could end up costing you a lot of money.”

– Councillor John McCreesh, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for Trading Standards
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