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Carlisle MP pushes plans to improve A69

Carlisle MP John Stevenson has met the Transport Minister Andrew Jones today to discuss progress on plans for improving the A69.

A £500,000 feasibility study is being carried out to look at turning the entire route between Carlisle and Newcastle into dual carriageway.

Mr Stevenson says revamping the road would help boost Cumbria's economy:

Well, ultimately we're aiming for the 2020 road programme, that's what we want to get into so that it gets built in the early 2020s.

There's a lot of work that has to be done before that, we've got to be involved in that, we've got to make sure our voice is heard, that people do take part in the consultations and the stakeholder meetings to get across the importance of the A69 and the economic value and connectivity value that there is for Cumbria and the North East."

– John Stevenson MP

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John Stevenson 'very concerned' by 'inadequate' rating

Credit: ITV Border

John Stevenson has said he is"very concerned for the children that are looked after" by Cumbria County Council.

The MP for Carlisle was commenting in response to today's news that child services in the region have been rated as inadequate for the third time in four years by Ofsted, who monitor the Children Services Department.

He says he has requested a meeting with the head of Children’s Services, John McIlwraith, and Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council, Diane Wood, to discuss this issue with them.

These are the lives of children who for whatever reason have not been given the best start.

"As a Country we have to ensure that these children are given the best care possible.

"Unfortunately Cumbria County Council appear to be unable to look after these children to an acceptable standard. "Questions need to be asked, these failings must be dealt with and significant improvements have to be made.’

– John Stevenson, MP

Stevenson speaks in Parliament

Carlisle MP John Stevenson has called for Scottish MP's not to be returned to Westminster after the 2015 General Election in the event of a "yes" vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

The referendum is due to take place on 18 September.

The Aberdeen- born politician was speaking in the House of Commons today:

Your opinions: Should an independent Scotland vote in general election

Carlisle MP John Stevenson has called for Scottish people to be banned from voting at next year's General election if there is a Yes vote in September's independence referendum.

All day we've been asking for your opinions on social network, here are just a few of your thoughts:

Mark Andrew Smith on Facebook said: "Seems like a logical conclusion - why should we have influence over a country we'd be leaving?"

Lee Vann-Wakelin on Facebook said: "yep.... standard procedure i would have thought, but silly spouting it now though"

You can still have your say by contacting us on Facebook, Twitter or by emailing pamandian@itv.com

Stevenson: Independent Scotland shouldn't vote in general election

MP John Stevenson is speaking in Westminster later today Credit: ITV News Border

Carlisle MP John Stevenson has called for Scottish people to be banned from voting at next year's General election if there is a Yes vote in September's independence referendum.

The Conservative MP, who is from Aberdeen, claims there would be a constitutional crisis if the Government was decided by part of UK that had just chosen to become a foreign country.

If there is a Yes vote, Scottish independence is likely to begin in March 2016, 10 months after the General election.

But, what do you think? You can have your say by contacting us on Facebook, Twitter or by emailing pamandian@itv.com

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MP defends "welcoming, friendly and tolerant" city

Comments made in court by a lawyer defending a Carlisle soldier who posted offensive comments online have led to a debate over the extent of racism in the city.

19 year old Warren Butler appeared in court yesterday, after admitting improper use of a communications network.

He had posted offensive remarks on Facebook after the body of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular was found in January.

On the day the body was discovered, Butler published comments about the little body's death, which were described as 'disgusting'.

Comments by Butler's defence lawyer have raised a wider issue, though.

Fabienne Macey told the court Butler had grown up in a racist family, and that reactions to his comment about the death of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular might have been be different in Carlisle.

We asked Carlisle MP John Stevenson if he thought the city was a racist area.

Racist Facebook post 'gives an idea of the extent of the racism' in Carlisle

A solicitor representing a man who admitted posting a racist comment on Facebook has raised the wider issue of racism in Carlisle, following remarks she made about the area.

Fabienne Macey told the court Butler had grown up in a racist family, and that reactions to his comment about the death of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular might have been be different in the city.

"He has grown up in a racist family, his father and grandfather were actively racist.

"He has been brought up not to like people of a different race and that is all he has known until being 19 years old and recently joining the Army.

"In the small community of Carlisle if he was to make such a comment, he doesn't think it would get the same reaction in that community, which gives an idea of the extent of the racism in that small community."

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