The two Labour councillors who have resigned from Copeland Labour Party claiming it’s because of the treatment of Jeremy Corbyn are fooling nobody. Graham Calvin and Tom Higgins have resigned because the Labour HQ were investigating them for allegedly making anti-Semitic comments and they have jumped before the investigation concluded with their possible expulsion from the party.

Very convenient for them and Copeland Labour as the councillors say they will continue as Independents supporting the Labour group on the council. All that has changed is the investigation has been halted.

Amazingly following the Labour group’s outrage at the Mayor joining the Conservatives from being Independent, in particular their leader Coun Mike McVeigh, the Labour councillors are actually speaking out supporting the defecting councillors who are quitting their own party that funded and supported their election as Labour members.

Amazing as it makes them complicit in the criticism of the current Labour leadership under Sir Keir Starmer and incredibly hypocritical given their reaction to the mayor going Conservative.

It also begs the question: do the Labour councillors condone anti-Semitism and have they done a deal to let the councillors rejoin when they think the storm has blown over and no conclusion ever reached from the investigation?

It is worth noting the media have reported the comments made by Tom Higgins are too offensive to either print or broadcast. Coun McVeigh, who was all over the press and radio condemning switching parties, has declined to be interviewed on radio about the defection of the two councillors.

The Conservative are calling on Labour HQ to conclude their investigation and publish its findings – after all they were presented with the evidence by one of their former members months ago, and with three Labour councillors out of 18 being investigated in as many months they surely need to establish if anti-semitism is rife in Copeland Labour and demonstrate the Labour Party as a whole are taking this issue seriously.

The Conservatives will be making formal complaints to the council monitoring officer under the code of conduct against all three councillors – Dave Banks, Tom Higgins and Graham Calvin – as Labour have not dealt with any of them.

We are also taking a motion to council calling for all three to resign for conduct unbecoming of an elected official. To be clear we are not calling for a by-election we would not expect any of these councillors to re-stand for election, certainly not under a party banner.

At the council meeting we will call on Labour leader Coun McVeigh and his fellow Labour members to state whether they support and condone the comments made by the three councillors and also articulate why the support Messrs Higgins and Calvin continuing as councillors following their defection from Labour given their well-documented stand on switching parties, and do they agree with the two councillors’ views on Jeremy Corbyn and the implied criticism of Sir Keir Starmer.

We already know the views of their recent Parliamentary candidate Tony Lywood who it seems might be next to jump or be pushed.


Conservative group leader,

Copeland Borough Council

Nuclear waste

Surely if you are going to bury nuclear waste it should be done in the safest possible way in the best place that can be found and I am sure that this is not West Cumbria.

For about 20 years I worked for a drilling company that must have drilled more bore holes in West Cumbria than anyone else and I would say that West Cumbria must be one of the most unsuitable places there is due to the amount of faulting in the geology.

We are talking thousands of years here and I am sure that eventually whatever the waste is encased in will deteriorate and it will be left to the surrounding ground to keep the waste safe, faulted geology may not contain it. This is not a legacy to leave our descendants.



IN the late 80’s early 90’s there was testing of the area to see if nuclear waste could be stored, they found that the geology of the area was unsuitable, have the powers that be forgotten this.


By email


Does The Whitehaven News have only one picture of our MP Trudy Harrison? Every week it’s there, grinning out at us.

It was particularly inappropriate in this week’s edition (letters, November 11) where she is taken to task over her vote in Parliament on the child food poverty issue. Your correspondent suggests that she puts the kudos of job as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister ahead of what might be expected to be her natural compassion for the children of the poor, and there she is smirking at us again.

Have you no photograph of her looking at least serious if not repentant?


St Bees

Do I work for the council now?

I AM writing this to let everyone know that ‘apparently’ I work for the council and the highways department.

I live on Cleator Main Street, and for several weeks now there have been no street lights on at all. Although this was bad enough, since the clocks altered this has meant it gets very dark quite early in the evening.

This has been reported to the council by several people, numerous times, but still no lights. Someone fell off the kerb into the road because they couldn’t see, people’s front doors have been opened by kids walking past and now a sofa has been left on the roadside.

I decided to get in touch with the county Highways Department, and received a few emails the following day. One said that there was no power to the lighting column and the other was as follows: “Unfortunately Cumbria County Council is not responsible for fixing this particular problem and no further work will be undertaken by us at this point.

“Electricity North West Limited is responsible for any further assessment and to take any further action, we suggest that you contact them directly,” and they gave me a website.

I went to said address and got an Error 404 (‘dead website’) message. I rang Electricity North West instead and spoke to a lady who said it had not been reported and she was quite appalled that I had been told to do this. She informed me that the Highways department should get in touch to report things themselves, that it was not my job to do it.

I just want the lights fixed please – is that not why we pay council tax? To keep things in working order?

Maybe Cumbria County Council would like me to fix them. I’m sure there is a screwdriver around here somewhere. Maybe I can sort the rat problem that people have been complaining about for months out whilst I’m at it.