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Local MP 'demands' PM protects Westmorland General Hospital

South Lakes MP, Tim Farron, has demanded that David Cameron protect the Westmorland General Hospital.

During Prime Minister's Questions Farron asked the Prime Mister to protect the hospital after it was announced that hospital bosses were thinking of 'gifting' the hospital to social enterprise.

It's claimed two whistle blowers said social enterprise is 'a euphemism' for a private company that already runs another NHS hospital.

“I am grateful that the Prime Minister has agreed to my demand to look into the situation at Westmorland General Hospital. I am deeply disturbed by these proposals to ‘gift’ our hospital to a private company or to remove services. I hope the Prime Minister will join me and our campaign to protect our hospital."_

– Tim Farron, MP

Over 3,000 local residents have signed his 'Hands off our hospital' petition in less than a week.

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Warning that lights could go out in Cumbria

The warning comes after a row over lamp posts Credit: Stephen Pond/PA Archive/Press Association Images

MP Tim Farron has warned that street lights could be switched off in rural areas in Cumbria after a row over lamp posts.

In some cases, telecoms and electricity companies own the poles but the council owns the lights.

The firms want councils to buy the poles after healthy and safety fears about workers scaling them to check the lights.

South Lakes MP welcomes fall in unemployment

The MP for South Lakes Tim Farron has welcomed figures released today which show that unemployment has fallen in South Lakeland.

According to figures released by the Office of National Statistics, Westmorland and Lonsdale's unemployment rate fell to just over one percent of the population aged 16 - 64.

This meant that there were 119 fewer claimants than in July 2012 and 10 fewer claimants than last month.

"This announcement is heartening news for our local economy, and shows the continued resilience of South Lakeland's businesses to an extremely challenging economic climate.

“That said, we must remember that the South Lakes has a large elderly population which is not included in these figures. Whilst it is good news that our unemployment rate is so low, wages are also often lower here as the South Lakes has a higher percentage of seasonal workers than other places in the region.

"This is why it is so important that we continue pushing for well paid jobs and apprenticeships for our community."

– Tim Farron MP

Government to officially recognise historic counties

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the announcement from the government that they are encouraging the marking and continued use of Westmorland and Cumberland.

A large number of counties were "administratively abolished" by the government in the Local Government Act 1972.

However, the Department of Communities and Local Government are to confirm that historic and traditional counties throughout England will remain.

Counties like Westmorland and Cumberland are now also officially recognised by the government.

"I hope the government will now use the terms Westmorland and Cumberland more often and support our historic counties.

"I will keep asking them to use the titles and to fly our flags on community buildings throughout our area.

"The next time there is a reorganisation of local government it is essential that there are moves to restore Westmorland and Cumberland as administrative counties too.”

– Tim Farron MP, Westmorland and Lonsdale

Local MPs pay tribute to Thatcher

Local MPs Tim Farron and Russell Brown have paid tribute to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who died this morning following a stroke:

Sad to hear about Thatcher. She was a pioneer for women in politics and changed the face of Britain

-@timfarron via Twitter

My sympathy and condolences to Margaret Thatcher's family. Britain's first woman Prime Minister and a hugely influential figure in politics

-@russellbrownmp via Twitter

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Budget reaction on tonight's Around The House

So, was this week's Budget downbeat or aspirational?

Helen Ford is joined by MPs Helen Goodman, Anne McIntosh and Tim Farron to examine the state of the nation's finances, and the likely effect of the Chancellor's measures on us all.

You can see the full debate on the Budget - as well as analysis of welfare reforms that are about to be piloted in Cumbria - on Around The House with Helen Ford, tonight at 11.50pm on ITV.

Full Report: Cumbrian MP speaks out against hospital cuts

A Cumbrian MP has told the government that 30 million pounds of cuts planned at the trust which runs Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital are "ludicrous".

Tim Farron met the Hospitals Minister, Dan Poulter, after hearing that the cuts have to be made in the next year.

Mr. Farron says the hospital is suffering because of mistakes by the previous management.

Watch the full report from Tim Backshall below.

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