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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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Local MPs back 'Cumbria Day'

Cumbria Day was the brainchild of Copeland MP Jamie Reed, but all of Cumbria's MPs have come on board putting party politics to one side for the good of the county.

"We are the most remote English county from the seat of power in this country, we have a responsibility, all of us to plug our businesses in the capital whenever we can and there's few better places to showcase what Cumbria has to offer than the House of Commons, it is a draw for people rather than going to another ordinary venue or restaurant."

– Copeland MP Jamie Reed

Cumbria's food and brewing sector described as 'Best in UK'

Hawkshead brewery and the beer hall Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria's food and brewing sector has been described as the "best in the UK" by local MP Tim Farron.

He is asking local businesses to take part in 'Cumbria Day', which will take place in the House of Commons and will showcase all that is good about businesses in the region.

Alex Brodie, founder and Managing Director of Hawkeshead Brewery says Cumbria Day is important as it will show Westminister that the area is more than a tourist destination.

He said:

"I lived down south for many years but always came up to Lake District and Cumbria when I could.

"A lot of people in London know the Alps better than Cumbria."There is so much on offer here. Yes, we have a booming tourism industry but food and drink tourism has also really taken off.

"We really hope MPs will come along and see what we have to offer so in the future when they are making economic decisions they'll remember us up north."

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National Park elections debate

Tim Farron will debate will debate national park elections in parliament, in a bid to give locals more of a say on how they're run.

It comes as part of his campaign to bring about direct elections to the boards of National Park authorities across the UK.

He recently approached Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on the subject during Parliamentary questions.

He highlighted the importance of national park boards containing elected representatives in order to ensure they are accountable for the decisions they make.

I am delighted to have secured this debate, and we can now take a step towards giving local people a formal say over the management of national parks.

"I hope the minister will agree that the huge significance of the national park to the lives and communities of people in South Lakes means they deserve a say in how it's run.

"It will be a fantastic chance to raise my concerns about the recent controversies over the plans for Brockhole, and these will provide an important reference point in the debate as I seek to ensure local people's voices are heard when it comes to the national park."

– Tim Farron, South Lakes MP

Postcard campaign by Lakes MP

Tim Farron MP has asked for the fuel duty rise to be axed Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Local MP Tim Farron has today written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on him to axe the planned 3p fuel duty rise in his Autumn Statement in early December.

But Tim’s message wasn’t written on House of Commons paper, it was written on a Lake District postcard.

Tim is calling on local people to join him in sending the Chancellor a postcard of a local Lake District or Cumbrian Yorkshire Dales scene.

He says it will help explain that it is much more expensive to travel around rural areas like Cumbria.

George Osbourne MP Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

The Autumn Statement will be made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on Wednesday 5 December at 12.30pm. Tim has asked the Chancellor to scrap his proposed 3p rise in fuel duty.

Mr Farron has also proposed that a scheme currently being trialled in the Highlands of Scotland should be introduced to Cumbria.

It would cut the cost of fuel at the pump for Cumbrians by 5p.

Commenting, Tim said;

"High fuel prices are causing real hardship in South Lakeland. I think we need to help hard pressed local families and businesses and the best way of doing that is cutting the cost of fuel. I am calling on the Chancellor to do this in his Autumn Statement and help us in the South Lakes.

“In rural areas like ours a car isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. So from now until the Autumn Statement I will be pressing Treasury ministers to seriously look at this plan and make sure we provide relief to as many people as possible.”

£2.2m go-ahead for A590 safety improvements

The Transport Minister has given the go-ahead for a £2.2 million investment to improve a dangerous stretch of road on the A590.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron welcomed the news, following a campaign for safety improvements to be made at the Greenodd junction following several serious and fatal accidents.

"Today’s confirmation is another step in our long running campaign to improve safety on the A590. Last week the Minister met with local residents and unlike many ministerial visits, he actually came and agreed to a package of measures that will help make the road safer.

"I told him that more must be done and that I wanted him to go back to London and sign the paperwork and give Greenodd the funds. So I’m delighted he did just that. I will continue to push him and the Government on this, but his words and, more importantly, his commitments are very welcome.”

– Tim Farron MP, South Lakes-Lib Dems

Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin has pledged the funding to build a new roundabout in replacement of the existing junction with the A5092.

A dual carriageway entry and exit roads for the bypass itself, and a two-lane entry to the roundabout coming from the A5092 are also part of the scheme.

"The A590 plays an important role in linking east and west Cumbria and so will benefit from improvement of the junction. It will support the creation of 3,700 jobs and 1,265 homes by 2020.”

– Patrick McLoughlin MP, Transport Secretary

Mr McLoughlin also agreed to spend £150,000 from the Department for Transport on a study to look at safety across the whole of the A590.

Work on the new improvements will begin next year.

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