News from nearby - snippets from what’s been going on in our neighbouring towns

BURNLEY

A NEW £9 million unit handling emergency cases at Burnley General Hospital has been approved.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is to receive capital funding from the Department of Health to house Burnley’s Urgent Care Centre in a new building following a Government announcement on Tuesday.

Burnley and Padiham MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “I’m absolutely delighted because it’s something we have been battling for five years.”

ROCHDALE

The number of independent shops in the town centre fell slightly last year, according to a new report.

By the end of 2011 just 51.9 per cent of businesses were classed as independents – compared with 54 per cent last year.

Paul Turner-Mitchell, who runs independent fashion store 25Ten Boutique and is chairman of Rochdale High Street Foundation, said Rochdale needs to become “a breeding ground” for new vibrant independents.

CALDERDALE

rail users in the borough who want to keep fit could soon be able to take advantage of a new bike hire scheme.

It is based on a Dutch system which makes cycles available to passengers arriving at their destination stations and enables them to be returned to another.

Twenty-five stations across the Northern region could eventually benefit from the scheme, according to transport minister Norman Baker.

HALIFAX

Five young robbers have been jailed for a vicious attack that left an A-level student fighting for his life.

Richard Lister, from Skircoat, was in a coma for nine days after he was set upon while walking home from celebrating his exam results on August 18.

Stefan Grant, 21, Duron Thompson, 20, Viren Lad, 18, Hassan Adam, 18, and their getaway driver Sophie Arnold, 19, all from Bradford, admitted robbery.

They were jailed for a total of 29 years.

Sowerby BRIDGE

A MOUNTAIN climbing banker is set for the challenge of a lifetime.

Martin Bradley, 25, who works at Lloyds Banking Group in Halifax, will climb to Everest base camp this June.

He hopes to raise £4,000 for charity Save the Children through a series of internal fundraising events, as well as supermarket bag packing and auctions.

EAST LANCS

PEOPLE in East Lancashire will see minimal changes in their council tax as the area’s local authorities have opted to freeze their portion in exchange for Government cash. Councils will receive money from the Government’s revenue support grant.