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Funeral of respected councillor

8 Jul 2024
Eric has paid tribute to the memory of his long time friend and colleague, Robert (Bob) Dodds.
Before the funeral, taking place today, Eric remembered, among many other things, how Bob had fought for the area during the foot and mouth outbreak over twenty years ago.

A Proud Day at Windsor Castle

6 Apr 2024
Eric had the pleasure of seeing his wife, Elsie, presented with her MBE by The Princess Royal at Windsor Castle.
Elsie Martlew with the MBE HM The King awarded Elsie Martlew the medal in the 2024 New Year's Honours list for political and public service to the people of Carlisle which was presented in a ceremony at Winsor on March 20.
Elsie was just 22 when she joined Carlisle City Council, serving some time as deputy leader, and remained a councillor until 2016. For three years after that she was Chair of Carlisle Constituency Labour Party.

A Star is Reborn

30 Aug 2023
A campaign by Eric to restore a bit of Carlisle's history has come to fruition.
The Star of David window It has taken two years but the Star of David at the old Carr's biscuit factory has now been restored.
Two years ago Eric noticed it was broken while out canvassing and since then helped secure the £2000 needed to restore it from Cumbria County Council.

Welcome for Fred's donation

24 Dec 2022
Eric has warmly welcomed a large donation to the Labour Party.
Carlisle businessman Fred Story, the Chief Executive of Story Homes, has donated £100,000 to the party.

George Cross for NHS

17 Jul 2022
A campaign started by Eric to award the NHS the George Cross has borne fruit. George Cross
Months ago Eric wrote to the Queen and the Prime Minister with this suggestion to honour the NHS workers for their work during the pandemic.

Boris has made Britain a 'laughing stock'

10 Jul 2022
Eric has said that Boris should go now instead of clinging on until the autumn.
Boris makes resignation announcement He said that Britain was a 'laughing stock' round the world now and it was a mistake to think Boris thinks like other people.

Welcome for trail hunting ban

6 June 2022
Eric has welcomed the decision to ban trail hunting in the Lake District. Fox hunting
A long time campaigner in parliament and out for animal rights and against fox hunting, he pointed out that not just the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) but banned also by the National Trust, and Forestry Commission.

The contrast between Starmer and Johnson

12 May 2022
Eric has made his views clear on the furore whipped up by "Beergate". Window photo at Durham Miners' Hall
He says that Sir Keir Starmer has done the honourable thing by saying that if fined for breach of lockdown rules he would step down.

Fly the flag

2 March 2022
Eric has asked Carlisle City Council to fly the flag of Ukraine above the Town Hall.
Flag of Ukraine He says it is important to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and also the Ukrainian community in Carlisle where many sought refuge after the Second World War.

Boundary plans create anomalies

17 Jun 2021
Eric is critical of the Boundary Commission's plans to change parliamentary boundaries.
He argues it's unnecessary and will create anomalies and will distract parliament from the business of governing the country.

Eric pays tribute to the Duke

10 Apr 2021
Eric has paid his own tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip, the expert carriage driver.
He recalls the time when, during a visit to a factory in Wigton, he met Prince Philip face to face.

George Cross for the NHS

10 Feb 2021
Eric feels the NHS should be awarded the George Cross, the UK's highest award for civilian gallantry, equal in status to the Victoria Cross. George Cross
He has written to the Queen and the Prime Minister with his suggestion as a way of recognizing the courage of NHS workers in the face of the Covid pandemic, over 200 of whom have given their lives after getting Covid19.

Ex-MPs get help from Eric

6 Jul 2024
Today many ex-NPs who have suddenly lost their jobs are wondering what to do next for their family and their futire.
Help is at hand in the form of Eric Martlew who chose retirement in 2010 and is now Chair of The Association of Former Members of Parliament.
Ballot Box

Lighting up for Cancer

10 Nov 2023
Eric is delighted that Carlisle's landmarks will be floodlit to shine a light on pancreatic cancer.
It has taken two years but the Star of David at the old Carr's biscuit factory has now been restored.
This is one of the most aggressive cancers and fewer than seven percent of sufferers survive five years beyond diagnosis. Eric was diagnosed in 2012 but happily, the fighter he is, he is still with us.
World Pancreatic Cancer Day2023

Betty was the best

3 Mar 2023
Eric has praised and paid tribute to the Late Betty Boothroyd who died recently.
He described her as the best of the four Speakers he knew in his time in the Commons.
Speaker Boothroyd
Speaker Boothroyd

Eric backs Constitutional Reform

7 Dec 2022
Eric has given his backing to Sir Keir Starmer's plans to abolish the House of Lords and devolve more power from Westminster.
He also welcomed Labour's plans for more powers to English regions, saying Carlisle would benefit.
The House of Lords
The House of Lords

Eric saves Star

25 Nov 2022
Eric's campaign has saved a little piece of Carlisle's history.
He was in Morton Street and happened to look up and saw a battered Star of David window on the old Carr's biscuit factory building.

Eric: Voters will decide after boundary proposals

12 Nov 2022
Proposed changes to the Carlisle constituency means taking in more farming and rural areas as well as Brampton and Longtown.
Dalston, Durdar, Cummersdale and Burgh by Sands will move to a new Penrith and the Solway constituency.
oundary commission proposal
oundary commission proposal

Campaign to honour munitions workers

13 Jul 2022
Eric is campaigning for a statue to be erected in remember the munitions workers during the war.
Mainly women, many were injured making ammunition in this dangerous work, and Molly Martlew was one of them. Eric's mother worked in such a factory in Wigan, one of the so-called 'Canary girls', because the toxins they were working turned their skin yellow. Her right hand was severely damaged in an explosion and only saved after delicate surgery.
Eric with the canary yellow wreath at Carlisle War Memorial
Eric with the canary yellow wreath at Carlisle War Memorial

Carlisle needs its own council

16 Nov 2021
Eric is backing moves for Carlisle to have a parish council after local government reorganisation.
From 2023, Carlisle City Council will no longer exist and the new Cumberland Council will manage the city's affairs.
Carlisle Keep

Celebrate Platinum Jubilee with Elizabeth Square

23 Oct 2021

Eric has suggested that George Square should become Elizabeth Square.
He says that as the railway station is re-developed, it is an opportunity to tie this into the Queen's 2022 Platinum Jubilee celebrations as part of the plan for the area.

Tory MP backs Eric's idea

23 Nov 2021
Carlisle's Tory MP, John Stevenson, has given his backing to Eric's idea of naming part of the station development Elizabeth Square.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Eric condemns flood defence 'bombshell'

25 Sep 2021

Eric and his wife Elsie, former deputy leader of Carlisle City Council, have lashed out at the Environment Agency's cancellation of plans to raise flood defences in Denton Holme, Willow Holme and Caldew.
In what Eric calls a 'low key' announcement, the Agency said the previous proposal to raise existing defences along the River Caldew … did not offer the long term benefits.
But in their letter to the Agency, Eric and Elsie why this low-key announcement when the ramifications for the people affected are immense called for a series of meetings with residents and businesses.

Flooding in Carlisle

NHS awarded the George Cross

7 Jul 2021
The Queen has awarded the NHS the George Cross.
This recognises the "courage, compassion and dedication" of the NHS staff over seven decades since its founding by the post war Labour government but especially of course during the Vovid19 pandemic.
Eric is especially gratified because back in February he wrote to the Queen and Prime Minister suggesting just this.
George Cross

HS2 will have to slow down

28 Jun 2021
Eric has commented on plans for HS2 in Cumbria
He emphasises that north of Wigan, HS2 will in fact be slower than current trains.
Tilting Pendolino train

Carlisle factory at risk by Scottish rescue plan

25 May 2021
Eric is worried that efforts by the Scottish government to save the McVitie's factory at Glasgow could cause problems in Carlisle.
The company's plan was to close the factory in Glasgow and move production to their UK sites, including Carlisle. But if incentives by Holyrood lead to the Glasgow factory remaining in production, there is concern the company might look elsewhere for savings.
McVitie factory, Church Street, Carlisle

Eric reacts to Hartlepool

12 May 2021
Eric has given his reaction to Labour's defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.
He said the result was not surprising and said the Tory success was due to the vaccine 'bounce' and Boris Johnson's image as a "bit of a lad".
Ballot Box

Gambling not the answer to empty shops

14 Dec 2020
Eric is opposing arcade plans for Carlisle city centre.
An international company has put forward plans to convert the former 'Yours' store in English Street into an adult gaming arcade.
Former Yours store in English Street

Delay Cumbria reform plans, says Eric

30 Oct 2020
Eric has said that plans to abolish the six district councils in Cumbria and make the county council a unitary authority should be delayed because of the pandemic.
He argues that the local councils should be focusing on the pandemic rather than entering a complete reorganisation.
Cumbria County Council logo

Flood defences not enough

10 Aug 2020
Eric has welcomed flood defences that protect parts of Carlisle, but says it's not enough.
He points out that even though Storm Desmond hit his area badly he says he and his neighbours still face another winter unprotected.
Floods in Carlisle

West Coast rail disruption

30 Nov 2019
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

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