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Carlisle Conservative candidate 'not surprised' by expenses decision

John Stevenson Credit: ITV Border

Conservative candidate for Carlisle, John Stevenson, says he's not surprised that no charges will be brought over campaign expenses.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it had examined files from 14 police forces, including Cumbria, into Conservative Party spending during the 2015 election.

In a statement they reported that while there was evidence of inaccurate spending returns, it did not "meet the test" for further action.

"We have considered files of evidence from 14 police forces in respect of allegations relating to Conservative Party candidates' expenditure during the 2015 General Election campaign.

"We considered whether candidates and election agents working in constituencies that were visited by the Party's 'Battle Bus' may have committed a criminal offence by not declaring related expenditure on their local returns. Instead, as the Electoral Commission found in its report, these costs were recorded as national expenditure by the Party.

"We reviewed the files in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and have concluded the tests in the Code are not met and no criminal charges have been authorised.

– Nick Vamos, CPS Head of Special Crime

Carlisle MP meets Health Secretary over hospital care concerns

Carlisle's MP John Stevenson has met the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today as concerns continue over care at North Cumbria's acute hospitals.

The trust that runs the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven is one of fourteen in Britain being investigated for its high death rates.

The trust is due to take control after the North Cumbria Trust was accused of serious failures.

Mr Stevenson asked Jeremy Hunt to speed up the takeover of the hospitals by the Northumbria NHS Trust:


£10k for Carlisle high street

Carlisle's high street has been awarded a grant of £10,000 to help boost its city partnership.

Once up and running the group will be able to share ideas with other town's and citys across the UK to try and keep the high street buoyant in hard economic times.

The money comes from government after the Carlisle City Centre Partner’s failed in its bid to secure a £100,000 grant from the Mary Portas scheme earlier this year.

"Our Towns First is a great movement which will provide support to Carlisle’s high street as well as a £10,000 grant which will help put elements of Carlisle’s plan into action.

"In addition, Carlisle’s City Centre Partnership will be supported by the Association of Town Centre Managers, which offers a network of advisors to help to improve high streets such as Carlisle’s.

"I welcome this grant which will go towards improving our city centre and the shopping experience which our city offers.’

– John Stevenson MP