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Hotel on Staples site would preserve Turkish Baths

5 Oct 2019
Eric has suggested a hotel be built on James Street next to the Turkish baths.
He has submitted his idea to a consultation which has opened for the station and surrounding area.

Call for abuse inquiry

19 Sep 2019
Eric has asked Cumbria's Chief Constable to look at how police handled allegations of abuse at Garlands mental health hospital in 1998.
This stems from information arising from a police investigation into alleged abuse at Muckamore Abbey in Northern Ireland, and Eric wants to be reassured that should new information arise concerning Garlands the police in Cumbria would investigate thoroughly.

Questions over hospital fire safety

30 Jun 2017
Eric has asked why the Cumberland Infirmary still has serious fire safety flaws. Cumberland Infirmary An inspection three years ago found failures and now it is revealed that the sprinkler system will not be fully operational for another three years.

Station parking to remain shut

11 Jun 2017
Eric has called the decision not to reopen the parking in front of Carlisle station 'ridiculous'.
He was told by Virgin trains who operate the station that the spaces which have been cordoned off for months, will not be brought back into use.

A sign of the times

11 Aug 2016
A walk on the beach proved fortuitous for Eric.
On the beach at Silloth, he found the 'Auld Acquaintance' sign from the union cairn at Gretna washed up on the beach. Eric and Russell return the sign Vandals threw the sign into the river but he and fellow former MP Russell Brown, have now returned the sign, a bit battered, to the cairn.

Pirelli fears post Brexit

1 Jul 2016
Eric has expressed concerns over the future of Carlisle's Pirelli factory.
He fears it could close within five years, and Cumbria County Council leader Stewart Young said the result was "worrying" for firms such as Pirelli.

Shadow Minister in Carlisle

29 Mar 2016
Labour's shadow secretary of state for environment, Kerry McCarthy, has visited the city.
She came to meet business owners and residents to see how they are coping with the aftermath of December's floods, including Eric, who was able to describe his own experience of being flooded out.

Fears for eventual break up of UK

9 May 2015
Eric has said he fears there may be another Scottish referendum sooner rather than later, which would lead to the break up of the United Kingdom.
He puts the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Conservatives, whom he said ran a scare campaign making people believe a Labour government would be in the pocket of the SNP.

Geoff Whalley - 'a great loss'

28 Apr 2014
Eric has paid fulsome tributes to a long serving trade unionist from Carlisle.
Geoff Whalley was a union and Labour activist who served as Chairman of his ASLEF branch for 25 years and as a county councillor for 20 years; his tenacity demonstrated by his return to work on the railways even after losing a leg in a motorcycle accident.

Unique pub history to be celebrated.

7 Apr 2014
A scheme that Eric long advocated when MP for the city is coming to fruition.
The city's unique state management scheme, under which almost every pub in the city was nationalised, is to be the focus of a history trail through the city that will tell the story.

Power to the North

20 Fen 2014
Eric is backing regional devolution.
At a recent meeting in the city, Eric said that when the North-East referendum was held ten years ago, may Labour ministers were from the north, but now they are mostly from the south.

Disappointment over hospital transfer

14 Jun 2013
Eric has expressed his disappointment over the failure of Carlisle's MP to get a guarantee that Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust would take over Cumbrian hospitals.
The Tory MP John Stevenson has a meeting with the Health Secretary concerning the acquisition which is seen as the way forward to drive up standards at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven after a series of highly critical reports.

Caution urged on academy merger idea

26 Feb 2013
Eric has called on the current MP to exercise caution over the future of Richard Rose Central Academy.
John Stevenson has suggested merging the school other academies into a 'wider federation' that would in theory allow movement of staff and more management.

Too little, too late

19 Oct 2012
Eric has criticised the Tory MPs for Carlisle and for Penrith for acting too late on Longtown munitions depot.
Both John Stevenson and Rory Stewart have recently announced they would lobby on behalf of the workers there to keep the depot open, but Eric says this should have been done long ago.

Welcome for new jobs

24 May 2012
As 300 jobs are due to be created, Eric has welcomed the new Sainsbury's which will provide them.
Work began in March as is progressing well, and is due to open in the Autumn.

Tribute to mentor

19 Apr 2012
Eric has paid tribute to his former mentor and teacher, Dave Weedall.
Mr Weedall died recently aged 77. He was Eric's teacher at the former Harraby School and was later a city mayor and long serving councillor.

Anger over university business school

9 Mar 2012
Eric has hit out at Cumbria University's decision to locate its business school in Lancaster. Cumbria University logo He accuses the university of betraying Cumbria and reneging on agreements when the university was established in 2007, in which Eric as then MP for Carlisle, was deeply involved.

Printers' pensions poleaxed

5 Nov 2011
Eric has called for the pensions regulator to look into the pensions of former Polestar workers.
Almost 9000 former workers are set to lose part of their pensions after they received letters saying the pension scheme is being wound up because Polestar UK Print Ltd failed to meet its obligations.

Fear of the rain

10 Aug 2011
Eric says that many people in the city still live in fear of rain. Flooded Carlisle, 2005 And with recent heavy rain and the likelihood of more to come, questions are being asked if Carlisle could cope again. Of course the city now has much improved flood defences, in large part thanks to Eric's tireless lobbying and hard work when he was the city's Labour MP.

Carlisle patients lose out as surgery scrapped

8 Jan 2011
Eric has hit out at doctors who have scrapped plans for a 'super surgery' in the city. Hilltop Heights - Eric opposed this location, not the idea of the surgery. While he always opposed plans to site the surgery at Hilltop heights, he wanted it in the city where it would be accessible, especially to those in the south.

West Coast rail disruption

30 Nov 2019
Virgin train on the West coast
Virgin train on the West coast
Eric has published figures showing that trains on the west coast main line had been halted over seventy times since April 2014.
Recently a stretch of overhead power cable a quarter of a mile long was brought down on the line delaying trains for hours.

Train contract will reduce competition

20 Sep 2019
Eric has expressed his concern about the changes soon to affect the West Coast Main Line.
He says that awarding the contract to First Group will remove competition. Virgin, who are losing the contract, have run the West Coast Line since 1997.

Tribute to Robin Burgess

26 Feb 2019
Eric paid tribute to Robin Burgess, the newspaperman who led the CN Group for three decades.
Mr Burgess died aged 68. The CN Group which he led publishes the local News & Star paper among others. He believed in a locally owned and locally published local press and was driven by a great sense of duty and loyalty to Carlisle and Cumbria.
Robin Burgess

Hospital bosses should "stop believing their own propaganda"

12 Oct 2018
Eric has entered the row about ward closures at Cumbrian hospitals.
Following the closure of the Aspen ward at the Cumberland Infirmary, Eric said the true motive was cutting because of the trust's £185 million deficit.
Cumberland Infirmary

Where have all the Cop Shops gone?

30 Aug 2017
A wave of closures of police stations in Cumbria has attracted Eric's criticism.
He argues that if there was a need for a police station in the first place, there would have to be good reasons for its removal, and he suspects that in these cases, this is not the case.
Police Officer in Hi-Vis jacket

Eric hits out at Hunters

15 May 2017
Eric is strongly critical of Tory moves to bring back fox hunting.
The Prime Minister has promised another vote on the issue, in an attempt to reverse the move by the Labour government a decade or more ago.
Fox hunting

It's all to play for

29 Apr 2017
Eric is optimistic about the General election in June, despite current polling results.
He says he feels the tide is turning and interventions like that of Boris Johnson with personal insults do not help the Tory cause.
Ballot Box

Concern over Pirelli expansion

24 Feb 2017
Eric has welcomed plans by Pirelli to expand its Carlisle factory.
The move should secure 4000 jobs in the city, but Eric still has concerns over the Brexit effect.
Pirelli Factory

Chilcot highlights unintended consequences

7 Jul 2016
Eric has commented on the Chilcot report into Iraq.
The former MP, who voted against military action against Saddam, said there was no plan for the aftermath and said caution was needed because of unknown consequences.

Freeman of the City of Carlisle

22 Mar 2016
Eric has been honoured by being made a Freeman of the City in the council chamber of Carlisle Civic Centre.
This is in recognition of his having "rendered eminent services to our area" and of being a "person of distinction".
From left, Eric Martlew, Judge Batty QC, Canon William Roan and wife Eileen and Mike Mitchelson (Photo: News and Star)

Eric opts to remain

15 Mar 2016
Eric has come down firmly on the Remain side in the EU debate.
He cites the economic costs to the UK and Carlisle in particular with its high manufacturing base, and also thinks that the EU has contributed to 70 years without major conflict in Europe.
EU referendum

City Council to honour Eric

12 Nov 2015
Eric is one of four men to be honoured by Carlisle City Council.
Council leader Colin Glover proposed that Eric, along with Cllr Mike Mitchelson, Judge Paul Batty QC and Canon Michael Roan should receive the freedom of the city, and this was passed unanimously by the council at a special meeting.
Eric served as the city's MP for 23 years, shown here in the Commons.

Barred by Nestle

20 Jul 2015
After unsuccessful attempts to become a trustee of Nestle's pension scheme, Eric now believes the firm blocked his applications.
It was known he was opposed to the closing of the current scheme, which the company has now said it intend to do, and Eric believes he was blacklisted and prevented from becoming a voice among the trustees to keep the present schema running.
Nestle at Dalson

Hunting pledge a 'cynical ploy'

15 Jul 2015
Eric has welcomed the government's retreat over fox hunting.
The Prime Minister has postponed the vote on relaxing the fox hunting law when it became obvious he would lose the vote in the Commons.
Fox hunt

Call to end health trust secrecy

31 May 2015
Eric has said that the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) must be more open about its plans.
This follows speculation that Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven could be separated because the Northumbria Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust only wants Cumberland Infirmary.
Cumberland Infirmary

Eric is have a go hero

30 Dec 2014
Eric went to Edinburgh to celebrate his wedding anniversary and became a have-a-go hero!
Seeing a security guard having trouble in a tussle with a shoplifter in M&S on Princes Street, Eric went straight in and put the man in an arm lock until he calmed down.
M&S, Princes Street, Edinburgh

State pub scheme trail gets grant

21 Aug 2014
The Carlisle City Business Group has obtained a £10,000 grant form the Heritage Lottery Fund to set up a State Management trail, website and oral history, a project that was always close to Eric's heart.
The project was launched in may with a four day exhibition of artefacts connected with the scheme, under which the state ran Carlisle's pubs from the first world war right up to 1973, and the group hope to obtain £100,000 later to create exhibitions in sixteen pubs that used to be part of the scheme.

HS2 'negative'

24 Mar 2014
Eric has expressed fears that High Speed Rail will have a negative effect on Cumbria
He was speaking at a recent meeting addressed by Nigel Harris, managing editor of Rail Magazine, a leading transport commentator.
A High Speed train

Action needed on parking problems at hospital

29 Jan 2014
Eric has raised the thorny issue of parking at Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary.
Now a shadow governor for the hospitals trust, he brought this up at a recent meeting at the hospital.
Hospital car park

WCML not HS2

25 Oct 2013
Speaking recently at a railway conference held at Carlisle by the Cumbrian Railways Association, Eric said people in the north had been sold a lie and that high speed rail to the north would never be built.
A one time fervent supporter of HS2 stopping at Carlisle, he now thinks the money would be better spent on the West Coast Main Line and other rail links because the high price tag of HS2 to Scotland is too prohibitive for it to happen.
West Coast Main Line

Tribute to Joe Hendry

3 Jun 2013
Along with many others who knew and worked with Joe Hendry, Eric has paid tribute to the Carlisle City Council leader who died on 30 May.
Others included Labour leader Ed Miliband, MPs of both Labour and Conservative parties as well as local councillors.

Gala dinner for Eric

2 May 2013
Eric's achievements as MP for Carlisle for twenty-three years are to be recognised at a Gala dinner organised in his honour.
Local band Sneaky Finch will play and there will be an art auction of work by Pontefract painter Brian Lewis, Conrad Atkinson and local artists in aid of Carlisle Key, Macmillan Cancer Support, and the Emma Gyles Bursary Fund.
Shepherd's Inn

Eric takes up hospital role

19 Mar 2013
They say you can't keep a good man down, and Eric's return to public prominence (did he ever leave?) as a Hospital Governor for Carlisle demonstrates this.
As Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust takes over the operation of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, a Council of Governors has been elected by members of the public who are trust members.
Cumberland Infirmary - to be run by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust

Save the Rose and Crown

18 Jan 2013
Plans to demolish the Rose and Crown in Upperby have been slammed by Eric.
He says the building was part of Carlisle's historic state management scheme and is worth preserving by converting to other uses.
Roase and Crown, Upperby

Kingmoor site inadequate for prison

15 Jan 2013
Amid speculation that Carlisle might be the location for a planned new 'super prison', Eric has said that he thinks the site is too small.
Eric lobbied hard to get a prison for the Kingmoor site when he was MP, but it came to nothing, and he now feels that the same site doesn't have the capacity for a super prison.
HMP Carlisle - a logo we shan't see?

Coalition crisis lifts Labour

11 Aug 2012
The coalition row over Lords reform has increased Labour's chances of retaking the Carlisle seat at the next election.
Eric argues that in the tit for tat war between Cameron and Clegg, the LibDems have threatened to sink planned boundary changes which would add more Tory voters to Carlisle.
Eric as Carlisle's MP - Labour's chance of retaking the seat have increased

Lonsdale fight over

6 Aug 2012
Ravaged by fire, vandals and the weather, the Lonsdale will now probably be demolished.
Eric, who actively backed the campaign to save the building as an arts centre, says that now demolition is the only answer.

West Walls plan collapses

31 Jul 2012
A plan to improve West Walls seems has fallen.
Eric has backed the plan since he mooted it in 2008 in order to capitalise on the city's history and make it a more attractive tourist destination.
West Walls (c) Dave Bevis

Backing for female MP

25 May 2012
Eric has given a cautious welcome to Labour's plans for a woman MP for Carlisle.
This follows a ruling by a sub-committee of Labour's national executive that the Labour candidate to fight the next parliamentary election for Carlisle will be chosen from an all-women shortlist.
Ballot box

Memories of Ted Short

11 May 2012
Eric has paid tribute to Cumbrian born Lord Glenamara of Glenridding (Ted Short) who has died aged 99.
The former Deputy Prime Minister played a part in bringing part of the University of Northumbria to Carlisle which led many years later for the University of Cumbria.
Lord Glenamara of Glenridding (Ted Short)

Welcome for Sainsbury's store

17 Mar 2012
Eric has welcomed the building of a new Sainsbury's and the 450 jobs it will bring.
He lives opposite the site of the new store and says it will reinvigorate an area of the town that still feels the effects of the floods.
A typical Sainsbury's store

Eric defends PFI scheme for hospital

6 Jan 2012
Eric has defended the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) agreement which enabled Carlisle to have a much needed new hospital.
But he is critical of the maintenance costs under the scheme, labelling them a disgrace.
Cumberland Infimary

Go west!

24 Oct 2011
Eric is backing an expansion of the Carlisle constituency to the west.
The Boundary Commission have proposed Carlisle constituency expand north and east to include Longtown and Brampton but Eric says a westward expansion would make more sense and has given evidence this week at the Commission's public meeting in Carlisle.
Ballot box

'First duty of state is to protect citizens'

10 Aug 2011
Eric has called for tough measures to curb the rioting in England.
This comes as thirty local police officers have gone to London to back up the Metropolitan Police and another thirty helped out in Manchester.
London riots, August 2011

High speed trains should stop in Carlisle

25 Jun 2011
The plans for a high speed rail line has raised again the issue of it stopping in Carlisle.
Eric has always said there was no economic sense for the trains not to stop and he spoke out in the Commons about this when he was the city's MP.
High Speed train

Eric steps in for TAs

24 Jun 2011
Eric has spoken out for those most affected by Cumbria County Council's single status pay review.
Teaching Assistants could lose thousands in pay and some have contacted Eric for help.

Residents resist call to up Anchor

20 May 2011
Eric is helping the elderly residents of flats owned by Anchor housing who have been told to move.
Anchor say the flats are too expensive to upgrade, but the residents, all in their seventies or eighties, want to stay put in their eight flats at Edenvale House, at Marlborough Gardens in Stanwix.

Eric hits out at 'grossly unfair' insurance

24 Jan 2011
Eric has blasted insurance companies that have hiked their premiums in Carlisle since the floods.
Speaking on the BBC's "Inside Out" programme, he said that Carlisle was now a low risk area and the insurance companies should be told by the government that this is not acceptable.
Eric speaking on the the BBC's 'Inside Out' programme.

Bridge tribute to flood hero

26 Jun 2010
Eric has paid tribute to a former Environment Agency manager who was instrumental in the city's flood defence scheme.
The South Vale Bridge over the Caldew between Denton Holme and Bousteads Grassing has been renamed in honour of Kim Nicholson, who died of cancer in 2007.
The former South Vale Bridge, now renamed.  Copyright David Liddle and licensed for reuse  under this Creative Commons Licence

'Horror' at Tory plans to slash NWDA

13 May 2010
Eric has said he is horrified at the thought of the North West Development Agency being broken up.
He compared the Conservative plans to replace it with small local agencies based on councils to the Carlisle Renaissance, Eric said the idea is horrifying.
Eric was praised by Ged Caig who represents council workers for the GMB. Mr Caig said that after the floods, businesses, especially McVitie's, were thinking of pulling out of Carlisle, but Eric intervened and got the NWDA to help out with over £1M and saved 1200 Carlisle jobs.
McVities factory, Caldewgate  Copyright Rose and Trev Clough and licensed for reuse  under this Creative Commons Licence.

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