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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Copeland: ‘We’re working with (and listening to) businesses’

SIR – In response to a number of comments in last week’s Whitehaven News about our work with businesses, and particularly in Whitehaven, I would like to make the following points to reassure your readers that we are working with businesses and will continue to do so.

In the current economic climate we are doing all that we can to work with and listen to businesses right across Copeland. It’s why, in Whitehaven, we are working in partnership with both the Chamber of Trade and with Enterprise Whitehaven – a group that was set up specifically to bring parties together to work to promote and market Whitehaven.
It’s why we’ve invested in the Whitehaven Festival since it began and why we invested in supporting the World visit.
It’s why we fund the Western Lake District Tourism Partnership to promote and market the borough to tourists.
It’s why we set up the Backing Business in Copeland scheme with our partners, which is a package of business support grants targeted at existing businesses, where over 95 businesses have been advised and 60 grants given out.
It’s why we have a partnership scheme which offers businesses a range of services provided by the University of Cumbria which includes funding to help Copeland businesses to recruit graduates, take on business placements to complete short-term business projects, training courses under the Get Qualified scheme for sports organisations, training for managers (LEAD) and the employment of high calibre graduates to work on a one to three year project with the help of someone from the university (Knowledge Transfer Partnerships).
It’s why we fund the Ways Into Successful Enterprise programme which since it started in March 2009 has assisted over 250 people considering self employment.
It’s why we work closely with Invest in Cumbria to bring new businesses to Copeland.
It’s why we’ve continued to invest in award winning parks and open spaces in our towns.
It’s why we’re backing the Albion Square development, which remains a priority and would bring significant numbers of people into Whitehaven’s town centre.
It’s why we continue to speak to hotel developers about building a prestigious hotel in the town centre.
And it’s why we continue to press to work with the nuclear industry and all of our biggest employers, to ensure we’re doing all of the above together. In these difficult times, it’s important that we work in partnership with other businesses and agencies.
Ian CURWEN
Communications Manager
Copeland Borough Council

SIR – I note our council leader’s comments on the front page of the September 23 edition of The Whitehaven News. I think it needs pointed out again: “...60 years of culture doesn’t change overnight, and they can’t just impose their will on West Cumbria...”
Having got into bed with the Americans, I’m very much afraid they will do things their way. As they say: end of!
However I wonder how Coun Woodburn can square the circle of the demise of Whitehaven Rugby League Club, due in no small part to the council-imposed board of directors, lack of consultation with minority shareholders and seeming indifference to the club’s demise.
For 62 years the club has been at the very centre of the town’s culture, it’s about to die and yet we hear not a whimper from the council who, once again, are responsible for another episode of failure and another nail in the town’s coffin?
T TODD
Woodhouse, Whitehaven

COLD FELL ROAD
Cold Fell carnage goes on
SIR – In the same week that your newspaper published an article on the start of a three-week public consultation period on Cumbria County Council’s proposals to introduce a 40mph speed limit on the Cold Fell road, a local farmer notified me that he had just had four more sheep killed on Kinniside Common.
The above new proposals are designed to reduce the impact on local communities of large volumes of inappropriately fast traffic, using mainly unfenced rural roads, as a commuter rat-run. Travelling through small hamlets, villages and across open fell pastures, a large number of road-kills, accidents, incidents and damage to lives and livelihoods are routinely inflicted on a beautiful and much-loved part of West Cumbria.
The 40mph speed limit is planned to run from the take-off roads from the A5086 at Lamplugh and Rowrah, right through to the junctions with the A595 at Calderbridge, except where existing 30mph limits apply. To enforce it, there is a commitment from the County Constabulary, working in a partnership with Sellafield’s Civil Nuclear Constabulary, so to do, once the Traffic Regulation Order has been made and the appropriate signs erected.
May I therefore, please take this opportunity to encourage members of the public to write in to Cumbria County Council’s Head of Legal Practice, The Nisi Prius Building, The Courts, English Street, Carlisle, CA3 8LZ, to support this local improvement initiative.
W M LACHLAN
Chair, Cold Fell Communities Action Group
Ennerdale Bridge
Nuclear waste
Scientist’s view on waste plans
SIR – I was involved in the Nirex project to find a nuclear waste repository at Sellafield, both as an earth scientist on behalf of Nirex but later as an objector at the public planning inquiry held at Cleator Moor in 1995-96. We must not forget that the inquiry effectively ruled out the whole of West Cumbria as a suitable location for nuclear waste disposal, not just on planning procedures, but on the overall science.
The fundamental reason is not hard to grasp. Just stand with your back to the sea, anywhere on the coastal plain, looking inland at the mountains of the national park. Imagine the rain falling on these mountains, percolating – however slowly and imperceptibly – through fissures and cracks in these slates and lavas, down towards the sea, over centuries and aeons. These same Lake District rocks are found below your feet, under the sedimentary layers of the coastal plain, constituting what we call geologically the ‘basement’. But the very large hydraulic head of underground water near the coast, thanks to the height of the mountains inland, means that some of this water can percolate back upwards to the surface on its progress to the sea. It is this natural flow pattern that rules out the coastal region from ever being a candidate site; it does not conform to internationally agreed standards for such a repository. In the long term, nature cannot be defied by engineering.
The judge at the planning inquiry considered that the government must look at alternative sites within the UK, and that not to do so may well contravene EU, even if not UK, law. So while I look forward to the eventual publication of the now-delayed report from my former colleagues at the British Geological Survey, on the suitability of Allerdale district as a potential waste site, it is already irrelevant. A decision by the government to focus on the Allerdale or Copeland districts will open up several legal challenges, and the only winners will be the lawyers.
The BGS should instead have been investigating the vast tracts of eastern England where there is not a mountain in sight. Here the flat-lying sedimentary layers overlying basement rocks do conform to one of the international standard models for a waste dump, known as BUSC, or basement under sedimentary cover. There were three such candidate sites in the formerly secret shortlist of 10 potential sites drawn up in 1988, which at the time included two Sellafield alternatives. But the government has allowed a further 15 years to elapse with no significant new science being done, and now hopes that its new ‘voluntarism’ approach – leading back again to the Cumbria cul-de-sac – will somehow bypass the scientific problems.
David SMYTHE
(Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow)
Ventenac en Minervois, France
POPE’S VISIT
Pope Benedict
played his part
SIR – I refer to Joe Lancaster’s letter in last week’s Whitehaven News, regarding the Pope’s recent visit to Britain.
Whilst respecting his views, I disagree with him that the Pontiff’s visit was a ‘pointless exercise in religious political correctness’. Pope Benedict probably did more to revive interest in, and support for, Christianity in four days than has the established (Anglican) church in decades, under a supine and politically correct Archbishop of Canterbury.

As regards his hostile remarks about Pope Pius XII vis-a-vis the German occupation of most of Europe during World War II; Mr Lancaster must remember that, whilst dreadful atrocities were indeed committed by the Nazis against the Jews and other so-called untermenschen, these could well have been extended to encompass all other religions, had Hitler and his cohorts been exposed to constant rhetoric from the Pope about their murderous deeds. Whilst the Pope was overtly neutral, as was Vatican City, he did as much as was possible behind the scenes to alleviate the distress of the suffering in those difficult times. It is very easy to be wise after the events as hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Brian PARNABY
Ullock

THANK YOU
Time to fill a festive shoebox
SIR – A huge thank you to the helpful staff and generous customers at Morrison’s this week for filling our trolley with sweets, soap, stationery and other goodies for this year’s Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal. Thanks also to our wonderful volunteers who gave up their time to man the trolley! We very much appreciate the kindness and support which was offered to us.
This year’s appeal is well under way, with many local schools, church groups and community groups taking part once more. Many people look forward to this time of year when they can make up their shoeboxes and make a difference to a child’s Christmas – the shoeboxes are bound for Romania this year.
If you would like to take part in this year’s campaign, please ring 01392 455 036 for posters, leaflets and DVDs or visit the web site-www. operationchristmaschild.org.uk
The following drop off points for shoeboxes are open from Monday, November 1 until Thursday, November 18: Whitehaven News office; Shoezone; Yeoman’s; Cornerstone Christian Bookshop; Howgill Family Centre; Egremont Market Hall; Remploy Cleator Moor; Beckermet Stores; Distington Surgery.
If you have any knitting or wool to donate, please ring Dot on 01946 66988 or Margaret on 01946 815470 for collection.
Thanks for your support,
Dot BLAYLOCK
District Co-ordinator for Operation Christmas Child
Springfield Grove, Whitehaven
FUNDRAISER
Store boosts hospice funds
SIR – May I thank everybody who supported our store collection in the Whitehaven branch of Morrison’s from Thursday, September 23 to Saturday, September 25. I am delighted to inform you that we raised a super £1,035.69 for Hospice at Home West Cumbria, a substantial sum that will give our funds a significant boost. A thank you also to the staff at Morrison’s who made us so welcome in their store. Also a big thank you to all the volunteers who gave their time to assist with the collection as without volunteers such collections would not be possible.
Hospice at Home West Cumbria was established 23 years ago to provide the best possible palliative care to local people and to give help and support to their family and carers, and to the bereaved. The NHS pays about 35 per cent of our costs and. We have to raise the remainder ourselves, approximately £7,500 a week, through voluntary efforts. We are very fortunate that the West Cumbrian community gives us such strong and generous support, which enables us to raise the money needed. In particular we are grateful for the legacies that we receive from time to time, which has been vital for Hospice at Home West Cumbria. These have helped us to continue to provide our services through difficult times and to develop the new services required to meet the needs of West Cumbrian people.
Gillian CHADWICK
Community Fundraiser
Hospice at Home West Cumbria
DEVELOPMENT
Approval given by her members
SIR – It seems difficult for Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland Council, to sympathise, as urged by Chris Robson (letter, September 30), with St Bees’ residents about approval given to the Abbey Road development – in effect imposed against massive local opposition only through a bloc vote of her own party’s four members in the planning committee.
C R A CUNLIFFE
Abbey Farm, St Bees
SMOKING
Don’t entice
our youngsters
SIR – We all know that young people are influenced by what they see around them. It is ridiculous that cigarettes are openly on sale in newsagents and supermarkets, often next to the sweets and crisps by the counter. The brightly lit, colourful displays show off rows of cigarette brands like huge adverts for tobacco.
Cancer Research UK’s Out of Sight Out of Mind campaign calls on the new Government to get shops to cover up their displays. It would not cost them very much and would take away one of the ways that tobacco companies market their deadly products to children.
I hope the Government takes this opportunity to stop today’s children becoming tomorrow’s smokers.
Kevan McGOUGH
Rheda Park, Frizington
CRAFTS
Unique goods
at emporium
SIR – Can I use your letters page to remind everyone that Copeland Craft and Food Emporium will be at The United Reformed Church in James Street on Saturday, October 9 from 9am till 3pm We have assorted craft items – including a purse made from The Whitehaven News, a picture painted with a travel iron, 3D greetings cards and loads more interesting goods, made by local people.We have locally-grown food and home-made produce – a veritable cornucopia of things not available in the shops. Hope to see you there!
Shelly TOMLINSON
Birks Road, Cleator Moor
TASTE CUMBRIA
A hole lot of searching!
SIR – There was one gourmet item missing from the otherwise amazing Cockermouth Food Festival. As an artiste accomplished in creating this delicacy in front of a live audience, the novelty of standing in line on the receiving end was very appealing.
I searched in vain for them everywhere. There was duck, pheasant or even ostrich sandwiches. Nick was there with his famous pig roast, surrounded by a plethora of pies, quiches, sausages and sizzling steak, but the treat I was looking for wasn’t amongst the savoury.
Undeterred, I trawled the cakes, scones, biscuits and fudges, getting warmer I thought, someone somewhere would make my day. With no sign of them on the main street I retreated to the memorial gardens, surely my yearning would not go unrequited there? Nothing came close, not even the pretentious French-inspired crepes. Chin on chest and disappointed, I saw no pedlar’s kiosk, not a whiff did I savour of the delicious aroma, or see the beautiful sight, rings of delight floating down rivers of oil into waiting bags of sugar.
They weren’t there, Mr Chippendale, but I forgive you, you only had 12 weeks to prepare. Doughnuts, doughnuts, oh please God, if you spare us, may next year’s festival be blessed with the exquisite taste of hot, four for a £1, fresh-sugared doughnuts.
Raymond HALL
Isel Road, Cockermouth
 

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