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Unifinished business: £3m spent so far on emergency base

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

More than £3m has been spent on an emergency services base in Cumbria, that still stands half-built when it should should have been finished two years ago, BBC Cumbria has established.

Half-finished building

Work on the base for the police, fire and ambulance services in Ulverston, called the Blue Light Hub, was held up by a contractual dispute.

Cumbria County Council has refused to release details of any pay-out to its former contractor.

The authority says it's now got a new builder in place and hopes soon to say more about when work will re-start.

How to keep your favourite pet on a healthy weight regime.
Vets urge well-meaning owners to limit the treats and keep their pets at a healthy weight.

Ambulances get 5,000 calls on New Year's Day

Cumbria's ambulance service said it saw a spike in calls over the festive period.

Figures released by the North West Ambulance Service showed it received more than 5,000 calls on New Year's Day alone.

NHS 111, the non-emergency service, also reported a high number of calls, with more than 12,000 recorded on the 28 December.

Everton unveils final stadium design for Bramley-Moore Dock
The club hopes to play at the 52,000-seater stadium, which will cost an estimated £500m, by 2023.

Analysis: Why Merseyside stands alone at the ballot box

On a devastating night for Labour that saw seats fall to the Tories across the country, the red flag is still flying proudly over one corner of England.

Of the 15 seats on Merseyside, Labour held on to 14 with Southport the only tinge of blue in a red tide. So why is Merseyside bucking the trend?

Radio Merseyside's political reporter Claire Hamilton takes a look:

Labour MPs on Merseyside

“Scouse not English” is a phrase familiar from the football terraces. But away from Anfield or Goodison there is a sense that Liverpool is exceptional, stands alone and apart from the rest of the country, and politics is no different.

The loyalty to Labour and a dislike of the Conservatives is historic and deep-rooted in a way perhaps it isn’t in other post-industrial places.

The notion that a Conservative cabinet minister recommended to Margaret Thatcher that Liverpool be allowed to slip into “managed decline” has taken root; how dare the demise of this great city be encouraged?

It’s a "them and us" scenario which has deepened and been mythologised for decades. Merseyside broadly voted 50:50 in the EU referendum, with Liverpool voting to remain by 58% (the Riverside Constituency is likely to have voted 73% remain) – but St Helens voted to leave by the same percentage.

Yet neither of the town’s two Labour MPs saw a genuine threat from any other party. So Labour’s Brexit position didn’t put off voters here the same way it did in other places. Talking to people in St Helens, the feeling was that the Conservative government didn’t care about the town, its regeneration or its future.

I think this is down to an entrenched anti-Conservative feeling which has grown stronger over generations. Leave voters here simply couldn’t bring themselves to vote Tory.