It was extremely disappointing to hear South Lakeland MP Tim Farron has asked the government to scrutinise the decision to grant permission for a mine in West Cumbria.

He wrote to the Secretary of State James Brokenshire requesting he call in the decision made by Cumbria County Council to give planning permission to West Cumbria Mining to go ahead with their project.

The development will give a massive boost to the local economy in Copeland and create 500 new jobs as well as providing further employment opportunity in the supply chain.

The planning was a long detailed process with all relevant matters given serious consideration including the potential impact of climate change.

If Mr Farron had attended the planning meeting which was held in Kendal he may have been able to have a more informed position and a better understanding of why the planning panel quite rightly approved the application.

His action could severely impact the prospect of raising living standards and addressing poverty in one of Copeland’s poorest wards.

Myself and four of the county's MPs; Trudy Harrison, John Woodcock, Rory Stewart and John Stephenson, have subsequently written to the Secretary of State supporting the decision of the planning panel.

On May 2 it is the election for the Mayor of Copeland and the local council.

While I fully understand that many of you with issues like Brexit are totally disillusioned with both politics and politicians I would urge everybody to cast their vote. i

I is decisions that are taken locally that have the most significant impact on our daily lives.

I am standing for re-election as your Mayor and very much hope you can support me in gaining a second term to build on the strong foundation that has been put in place over the last four years.

The inherited financial mess has been cleaned up, the infrastructure of the council has been completely overhauled and streamlined to deliver the plans and policies that will improve the length and breadth of Copeland and make our Borough an even better place to live, work and visit.

I will be out and about speaking to as many residents as possible about my plans for the next four years should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected.