Tim Farron

Contrasting reactions to Brexit from competing politicians

Martin Lewes

Reporter

Depending on what happens in Westminster over the next few days, a large step in Britain's departure from the EU is on the way, and a General Election may next in line.

A Brexit deal has been agreed between the UK and EU before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels.

In Westmorland and Lonsdale, Conservative James Airey will challenge the Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, a contest between an enthusiastic Brexiteer and a keen Remainer.

Both were quick with their reactions.

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Bank plans to stop cash payouts at post offices

A plan by Barclays to stop customers withdrawing cash from post office counters is being criticised in Cumbria.

The Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron says the change, expected to be introduced in January, will make things particularly difficult for people in rural areas, where the bank has closed many of its offices.

Grasmere Post Office
Google

Grasmere Post Office is one of many in Cumbria that are the only staffed source of cash in a community, and Barclays says that where there is a cash machine within a mile, or a shop providing cashback, which it has plans to expand, its customers will have to use those services.

The MP Tim Farron, who is writing to the governbment in protest, says that just within his constituency, Barclays branches have closed within the past few years in Sedbergh, Ambleside, Milnthorpe, Grange and Coniston.

What does it say about an area that there isn't something like a bank, or a hole in the wall, or a facility to withdraw money?"

Heidi HallidayGrasmere Post Office

This undermines the post office network, damages the communities they are at the heart of and of course seriously disadvantages Barclays customers, especially older ones at a time when we are seeing public transport cuts which makes it even harder for them to do physical banking."

Tim FarronMP for Westmorland and Lonsdale

Farron: Minister may move on migrant salary limits

The MP Tim Farron says he believes ministers may relax salary limits for migrants which may make it more difficult for hotels in the Lake District to recruit overseas.

Mr Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, raised the issue with the Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan in the Commons this morning and was was told she was "very aware of the issue" and was actively reviewing the salary issue.

Tim farron
Parliamentlive TV

Copeland leaders attack Farron in coal mine row

Local Democracy Reporting Service

John Connell

Copeland's MP and mayor have both rounded on the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron, after the Liberal Democrat member criticised plans for a coal mine at Whitehaven.

The MP has said planning permission for the coking coal mine on the Marchon site should be cancelled because of the resulting carbon emissions, but the Conservative MP Trudy Harrison said he was jeopardising the region's future prosperity.

The Mayor Mike Starkie said coking coal was essential for steelmaking.

He said: "The sooner a General Election comes and this man is voted out of Parliament the better."

Mr Farron said the threat of climate change meant fossil fuel extraction should stop.

He said: "It’s no use saying ‘Yeah we’ll stop digging up coal next year or the year after that or the year after that’."

Artist's impression of coal mine
West Cumbria Mining

MP makes new call for Cumbrian mine plan to be scrapped

Plans for a new coal mine in Cumbria have been raised in the House of Commons, by the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, during a discussion on climate change.

Artist's impression of coal mine
West Cumbria Mining

The Liberal Democrat MP said the proposals for a West Cumbrian mine should be scrapped.

In response, Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said she was delighted that the UK had moved from a 40% reliance on coal to just 5% today.

Politicians in west Cumbria have previously told Mr Farron not to “interfere” in plans for the new undersea mine.

If we’re serious about tackling climate change, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground."

Tim Farron

County MPs close ranks over Parliament suspension

Cumbria's members of Parliament are closing party ranks over Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to suspend sittings for longer than usual over the party conference season.

Conservatives say the prorogation, as it is called, is a normal process that the government is entitled to arrange, but opposition MPs say it is a cynical move to limit the chance of blocking attempts to forbid a no-deal Brexit.

To throw away a very large percentage of those days is very clearly an attempt to avoid public and Parliamentary scrutiny."

Tim FarronLiberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale

There is still plenty of time for Parliament to discuss the major issue of the day which is Brexit."

John StevensonConservative MP for Carlisle

To suspend Parliament in the run-up to our leaving date from the European Union for such a length of time, I think, is deeply irresponsible."

Sue HaymanLabour MP for Workington
Ant-Brexit demonstrator
Reuters

Minister offers talks with MP on rural buses

Transport minister Nusrat Ghani has offered to meet a Cumbrian MP to discuss how to improve local bus services.

She made her offer after the Liberal Democrat member for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, said community services run by volunteers had become essential because of the way governments of all parties had allowed rural communities to become cut off.

MP calls for improvements in new tourism skills course

A Cumbrian MP has asked the government to re-think a new "T-level" course for young people so that it covers more skills needed in the county's tourism industry.

The Lib Dem Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron says that what was planned to be a hospitality and catering course, equivalent to an A-Level, would now concentrate mainly on catering.

During Business Questions in the Commons, Mr Farron said that with 20,000 non-UK staff working in the Lake District tourism industry, there's what he called a "desperate need for homegrown talent", whether or not Britain leaves the EU.

The Department for Education said later that the content of the T level courses was still being developed.

Tim Farron in House
ParliamentliveTV

The government has watered down the already-delayed catering and hospitality T level so it no longer includes hospitality - will he undo this backwards move?"

Tim FarronMP for Westmorland and Lonsdale

These new T levels have been developed in conjunction with the sector, I hope he will acknowledge this is a great step forward."

Greg ClarkSecretary of State for Business

Kendal youngsters win award for beekeeping and MP's tour

Pupils from Heron Hill Primary School in Kendal who won a national award for beekeeping were shown around the House of Commons by the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron.

Tim Farron with pupils in House
Tim Farron