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10 hour M6 closure prompts calls for new Kendal road

Gridlocked traffic in Kendal Credit: @NigeTomo65

There are renewed cals for a Northern relief road to ease congestion in Kendal following a closure of around 10 hours on the M6 (Thursday 4 January), after a lorry overturned on the southbound carriageway.

It happened between junctions 37 and 36 near Killington, just after 11am. The road remained closed until 10pm, bringing severe traffic to the A6 from Shap into Kendal.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron posted on Twitter to stress the urgency for the new bypass:

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Tim Farron: Westmorland hospital ward 'safe if staffed properly'

Tim Farron MP says staffinf levels need to be improved at the Westmorland General ward Credit: PA

Following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission into mental health wards run by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust, South Lakes MP, Tim Farron, has said that improvements are mainly needed in staffing and not the physical space.

The report found that a number of the wards 'required improvement'.

The MP who in 2016 campaigned to keep the Kentmere ward at Westmorland General Hospital open, says it is well maintained.

This report makes it clear that Kentmere ward is clean, well maintained with safe spaces for patients. The concerns that the CQC has are around psychiatric medical cover overnight and at weekends and the incident response systems.

“The Partnership Trust need to take immediate action to improve staffing levels on the Kentmere ward – and given the CQC’s comments, the Trust must not use this as an excuse to try and close the ward again.”

– Tim Farron MP, South Lakes

Tim Farron launches leadership bid

Credit: ITV Border

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has this morning officially launched his campaign to become leader of the Liberal Democrats.

He was re-elected last week with a majority of 8,949, and claims that since then he has received hundreds of messages urging him to stand to be leader of his party.

But he says he is keen to stress the move will not distract him from his constituency work, stating ‘Westmorland is my home and will always be my top priority’.

I'm standing to be leader of the Liberal Democrats because I think Britain needs a political party who will stand up for the environment, human rights, equality and liberalism.

"I want to be the person who helps our party fightback and give Britain the liberal voice it needs.

“However Westmorland will always be my home and will remain my top priority. "Nothing will distract me from that.

"When I was first elected I said that I would always be Westmorland’s man in Westminster and never the other way around."

– Tim Farron, MP

Cumbrian MP wants 'evidence' from Commissioner

Following the announcement asking for Cumbria's Temporary Chief Constable to 'retire or resign', Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has asked to see all of the evidence:

“I want to hear concrete reassurances from the Commissioner that all the necessary legal procedures have been followed to the letter.

"I also want him to agree to show all the evidence to the independent scrutiny panel to allow them to make a judgement. The public do not know the full extent of the situation and they deserve to know what has happened.

“Whatever happens next it must be done swiftly for the sake of taxpayers in Cumbria and it must be done properly to ensure there are no court cases later that could cost further valuable public money.”

– Tim Farron MP, Westmorland and Lonsdale


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Downing Street plays down Chinese lantern 'ban'

Calls by the Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron for a ban on Chinese lanterns have been played down by Downing Street, in the wake of the Smethwick fire.

"The actual number of fires caused by Chinese lanterns is very small," a No 10 spokesman said.

"It is important that we always ensure that there is a proportionate response to any event and we always look at safety matters and make sure they are kept at the top of our concerns."

Relief over rural schools funding turnaround

Rural schools in our region are relieved after the government backed down over changes to their funding.

Plans to give all schools a lump sum per pupil were criticised because smaller schools could suffer.

Now the government says councils will be able to be more flexible with funding, taking into account rural schools that need more support.

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news:

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