Tim Farron

  1. Tourism bookings 'dry up' as North West goes under tier 3

    Cumbria's Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron says local hotels, B&Bs and holiday cottages are losing money because of cancellations from people living in areas that are under the tier three restrictions.

    The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, whose constituency covers a large part of the Lake District, says Cumbria's tourism businesses have lost bookings from Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

    Mr Farron says he has been "inundated" with businesses telling him that jobs are at risk.

    Tim Farron
    Quote Message: If you run a hotel in Liverpool and you are closed down because you are in tier three, you'll get some form of compensation, if you are a guest house in Windermere and you effectively have to close down next week because all your bookings have dried up because all your customers are in tier three areas, you get nothing at all." from Tim Farron
    Tim Farron
  2. MP highlights 'dangers' of hospital replacement plan

    The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron says replacing the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the Royal Preston Hospital with a single new development could be "dangerous" if it means South Cumbrians have to travel further for emergency care.

    Tim Farron

    The MP was speaking after the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said there would be a consultation on how to replace the two hospitals, which provide emergency and major trauma centres for the south of the county.

    Mr Hancock said he understood Tim Farron's position, but his constituents would be consulted on how the two hospitals could best be replaced.

  3. GP practice in Windermere could be saved

    Goodly Dale GP practice

    Thousands of patients in South Cumbria have been told their local GP surgery could be saved from closure.

    The Goodly Dale practice was under threat because the provider running it has pulled out of its NHS contract.

    However, at a meeting of Morecambe Bay CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee this morning, members of the committee unanimously agreed to start the procurement process for the surgery rather than to close the practice.

    Tim Farron, Lib Dem MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, has strongly welcomed the news:

    Quote Message: I’m really glad that local health bosses have voted unanimously to find a new provider to take over the running of the Goodly Dale surgery, rather than close the surgery.
    Quote Message: However, we have only cleared the first hurdle – we now need a new, local and reliable provider to take over the services.
    Quote Message: I will continue to work closely with the CCG and local patient groups to get the best possible outcome and I will also be lobbying the government to reverse cuts to rural GP surgery funding which have led to many of the problems at Goodly Dale.”
  4. Cross-party campaign to protect Cumbria's pubs

    A cross-party campaign to protect Cumbria's pubs from the impact of the new coronavirus restrictions has been launched.


    Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, has joined MPs from six different parties in writing to the Business Secretary to protect jobs and firms in the pub and hospitality industry.

    The letter, instigated by Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper, calls on the government to:

    • Publish evidence behind the decision to impose a 22:00 closure time.
    • Extend the furlough scheme for businesses that must close temporarily as a result of the new 22:00 closure.
    • Confirmation that business rates exemption would be extended beyond April.
    Quote Message: In many towns and villages throughout Cumbria the pub is the hub of community life.
    Quote Message: But the future of so many of our local pubs, bars and restaurants are on a cliff edge, hit by a perfect storm of more restrictions and less financial support.
    Quote Message: Ministers must act urgently to support our local pubs and hospitality businesses, or risk many of them calling time for good.” from Tim Farron Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale
    Tim FarronLiberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale
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    The government said it had taken "decisive action" to support businesses, including the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, rates relief and its new Winter Economy Plan.

  5. Johnson promises tourism industry meeting with minister

    The Prime Minister has told the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, that a government minister will meet him and representatives of Cumbria's tourist industry.

    Boris Johnson had said that new restrictions on opening hours and other rules could last for six months through the winter.

    Lib Dem Mr Farron warned Mr Johnson in the Commons that the alternative to giving a targeted package of help to the industry would be paying more benefits to staff who would lose their jobs.

    Boris Johnson in House
    Quote Message: I certainly undertake to ensure that his delegation is able to meet the relevant minister to find a way forward, we will continue to support tourism and hospitality as we have throughout this crisis." from Boris Johnson
    Boris Johnson
  6. MPs differ over 'treaty-breaking' Commons vote

    All bar one of Cumbria's Conservative MPs voted in favour of the government's Internal Market Bill last night.

    The bill includes clauses which ministers have admitted could break international law, because they would override the withdrawal act treaty if they were ever put into effect.

    Mark Jenkinson and Tim Farron

    The only Cumbrian MP to vote against the bill was the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron (right).

    But ministers say the provisions are insurance in case no proper trade deal can be agreed, and Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, says he believes they will never be needed.

    Quote Message: The will is there from our side, I think it's there from the EU side, it is possible and I would just encourage them to get it done and stop all the posturing."
    Quote Message: If we want to have any place around the top table, we want not to be hypocrites, and we want to be proud of our country, then this bill has got to fall."
  7. County denies scrapping traffic lights plan for bridge

    Martin Lewes


    Cumbria highways officials are insisting that no decision has been made on whether to put traffic lights on a 17th Century bridge that carries the main road from the M6 to Sedbergh.

    Plans for the traffic signals over the single-carriageway crossing were revealed in a letter from a county council official published on social media on 3 September.

    Lincoln's Inn map showing lights plan

    Protests from Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors and dozens of local people quickly followed.

    This morning the Lib Dem MP Tim Farron put out a statement welcoming the dropping of the proposals, but then this afternoon, Cumbria County Council said the details of the project were still to be confirmed.

    Quote Message: The proposed works are still subject to further engagement with local residents, the national park, parish council and wider local community. Understanding their views will continue to be an essential part of the process.
    Quote Message: This engagement may present an opportunity to reconsider the designs, and to look at alternative options which may include additional signage and road markings." from County council statement
    County council statement
  8. MP welcomes extra school buses to allow more space

    Extra buses to make sure children can get to school have been welcomed by a Cumbrian MP.

    Cumbria County Council has put on another 22 buses, because there are fewer spaces on public transport, to take account of social distancing.

    Tim Farron

    Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, says the move has allayed parents' concerns.

    Quote Message: We want to make sure there is social distancing, to keep people's families safe as well as the children themselves, but at the same time it's important that if children are going back to school that they have the transport to get there." from Tim Farron
    Tim Farron
  9. Cumbrian MP welcomes new Lib Dem leader

    The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has welcomed Sir Ed Davey's victory in the Liberal Democrat leadership contest, calling him a "fantastic campaigner who has the experience and vision to move our party forward".

    Mr Farron supported Mr Davey during the campaign, but also paid tribute to his competitor Layla Moran as "energetic".

  10. Farron: Stamp duty cut will help Lakes second home buyers

    The Government's defending its decision cut to stamp duty, against concerns it could encourage more people to buy second homes in the Lake District.

    Lakes signpost

    Ministers have scrapped the tax for properties worth up to £500,000 until the end of March, to try to get the housing market moving again.

    But the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, told a government minister in the Commons that excessive second home ownership "robbed communities of life, schools, and other services".

    Quote Message: Does he understand then why people in the South Lakes are so appalled that the government has chosen to give a £15,000 stamp duty bonus to those lucky enough to be able to afford a second home?" from Tim Farron
    Tim Farron
    Quote Message: It's very important that we balance the needs of the local economy with the rights of local people, we think we've got that balance right." from Chris Pincher Housing minister
    Chris PincherHousing minister
  11. MP: Cumbrian districts 'have most furloughed workers'

    Cumbria has the top two districts in England when it comes to the number of people on furlough, according to one of the county's MPs.

    Speaking in the Commons, Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said 40% of employees in South Lakeland were currently having their wages paid by the state, with Eden district just behind on 39%.

    Farron in the House

    Mr Farron said a survey by UKInbound, the tourism trade association, suggested 60% of member businesses expected to lay people off next month as the furlough scheme started to taper off.

    Quote Message: The government must fast-track a specialist package for hospitality and tourism to save that industry today.” from Tim Farron.
    Tim Farron.
  12. MP Farron under more pressure over 'faith' company

    Cumbrian MP Tim Farron is still under pressure from within the Liberal Democrat party over the connection between his faith and politics.

    The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP says he set up a company called Faith in Public in 2018, to support his work with the homeless, refugees and faith in politics.

    Tim Farron in House

    At the weekend a national newspaper said a director of Faith in Public had expressed support for a controversial practice called "gay conversion therapy".

    Tim Farron has distanced himself from these views, and says he sets the policies of Faith in Public, but Charley Hasted from the Liberal Democrats' LGBT Plus group has concerns.

    Quote Message: It's nothing to do with Tim's own Christianity, his own faith, it's the fact that he's accepting money from from an organisation where we have no way or working out what their policy stances are, what are they advising him on?" from Charley Hasted
    Charley Hasted
  13. Tim Farron defends accepting money from Faith in Public

    Bob Cooper

    Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

    The Cumbrian MP, Tim Farron, has defended his decision to accept donations from a company whose director has expressed controversial views.

    Tim Farron

    The Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, who is known for his strong Christian beliefs, accepted £65,000 pounds in donations from the company Faith in Public, which he set up after stepping down as party leader.

    Its director, David Landrum, has tweeted in the past about so-called “gay conversion therapy”, and the Independent news website says Mr Farron's funding has prompted criticism from within the Liberal Democrat party.

    But Tim Farron says Faith in Public was set up to support his work in various areas and its views are his, not David Landrum's.

    Quote Message: I am strongly opposed to so called gay conversion therapy and I will vote to ban it when it the legislation comes to Parliament.”” from Tim Farron quoted in the Independent
    Tim Farronquoted in the Independent
  14. Cumbrian MPs welcome VAT cut, but Farron calls for more

    There's been a welcome in Cumbria to an announcement than VAT for restaurants, takeaway food shops, pubs, hotels and visitor attractions will be cut from 20% to 5% until January to try to help the hospitality and tourism sectors recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

    The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, also said that under his plan, the taxpayer will also foot up to £10 per head of some restaurant bills during August, as part of the same package.

    View more on twitter

    The Westmorland and Lonsdale Lib Dem MP Tim Farron said: “These proposals, particularly the big cut in VAT, are really welcome, and show that the Chancellor has been listening to our case for further support for one of the hardest hit sectors."

    But he added that extended grants would also be needed to help businesses survive the winter.

    “It was also disappointing to see nothing in this statement for all those people, such as recently self-employed people and directors of small limited companies, who have missed out on any Government support during this crisis," he said.

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  15. Farron: Tourism needs 'billions' to save jobs

    There are hopes that the chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce extra help for the tourism industry in a set of announcements tomorrow.

    His speech is not intended to be an extra budget, but MPs across the county expect Mr Sunak to talk about extra investment to help the country recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Tim Farron

    The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron says the tourism industry needs help to survive the winter after a summer cut short but the lockdown.

    Quote Message: This has got to be about jobs and not about press releases and if the chancellor doesn't reach out and provide a funding package that's got to be worth billions, then we will see thousands of people in Cumbria losing their jobs." from Tim Farron
    Tim Farron
  16. Cumbrian MPs welcome minister's pledge on farming trade

    At least two Cumbrian MPs have welcomes a decision by the Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, to set up a special commission to decide how to protect British farming as international treaties are struck.

    The Liberal Democrat member for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron, and the Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border, Dr Neil Hudson had both campaigned in the Commons for legal protection for British animal welfare and food quality standards, with Dr Hudson rebelling in a Parliamentary vote.

    View more on twitter

    Both MPs from the county had been concerned that any treaty with the USA would require the UK to be prepared to import food, such as beef from cattle given hormones, that would be illegal if produced on a British farm.

    Mr Farron said he was still worried that there were no details about how the commission would operate or whether there would be Parliamentary scrutiny on any trade deal to make sure UK agriculture was not undermined.

  17. Tourism firms petition for cash to survive through winter

    Cumbria's tourism industry and the MP Tim Farron have started a national petition to get support through the winter for businesses dependent on visitors.

    Gill Haighg and Tim Farron

    Many people in the industry believe restrictions on opening accommodation and attractions will be relaxed in July, but as yet no details have been given to enable businesses to prepare.

    Mr Farron, the Westmorland and Lonsdale Lib Dem MP, and Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism (seen here at Bowness), said businesses had already lost more than half the year’s income and even opening in a few weeks might not help.

    Gill Haigh said: "The average opening capacities of around 60%, based on social distancing measures, plus the additional costs to ensure visitor and staff safety, will mean that for many businesses it will be difficult for them to remain viable."

  18. Benefit claimant figures soar in parts of county

    The number of people claiming benefits and looking for work in Cumbria more than doubled between March and May, from 6,930 to 14,570.

    Jobcentre sign

    The increase over the whole county reflects national figures, but the impact varies widely, with the Lake District national park area seeing a 420% jump, and in district councils areas, Eden and South Lakeland worst hit.

    South Lakeland saw the second largest percentage increase, 286% over the three months, of any district council in the UK and the MP Tim Farron, whose constituency roughly covers the same area, says it backs up his call for school meal vouches to be issued throughout the summer.

    Quote Message: Many families were reasonably comfortable in February and find themselves in desperate circumstances now." from Tim Farron
    Tim Farron
  19. MP: Keep tourism jobs support payments for the next year

    Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has called for the furlough system or similar support to be given to the tourism industry through the winter, to keep businesses afloat until the next summer season.

    Table of statistics for furloughed workers

    The Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale said his constituency had the fourth highest proportion in the country of workers whose pay was being supported by the 80% retention scheme, but if it finished too early, up to a third could lose their jobs.

    He has written a letter signed by more than 20 MPs of all parties to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma saying that while he supports keeping businesses closed if that is necessary to reduce the spread of coronavirus, "we have a responsibility to spare people from hardship and ruin".

    Quote Message: If the industry does not receive funding to see them through the next year, millions of jobs will be lost." from Tim Farron
    Tim Farron
  20. Farron welcomes promise to help tourism through winter

    The Prime Minister says there may be some financial support to help tourism businesses get through the winter.

    But Boris Johnson said there were no plans to extend existing support packages, such as the coronavirus job retention scheme, which pays 80% of the wages of furloughed staff.

    During Prime Ministers Questions today, the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, pointed out to Mr Johnson that if tourism businesses made no money in the summer, most could then not make money through the winter.

    Tim Farron
    Quote Message: Will the Prime Minister provide a support package for tourism and hospitality in the Lakes, the Dales and elsewhere to see them through to the spring of 2021?" from Tim Farron
    Tim Farron
    Quote Message: We are certainly looking at all sorts of packages to help the tourism industry, creative ideas to help the tourism industry, over the winter period so their winter can, as it were, continue to be a kind of summer." from Boris Johnson
    Boris Johnson