MORE than 100 delegates attended the third Cumbria Conservative conference held at The Low Wood Bay Hotel on the shores of Windermere.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson was the opening speaker and referring to the multi-million pound extension at the Lake District hotel he said: "Things are definitely looking good for Cumbria."

He said that The Northern Powerhouse was a successful brand and should be promoted and reminded the audience that much more could be done an achieved before the next General Election in another four-and-a-half years.

Jacqueline Foster, Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs, said in her speech that in her opinion Cumbrian farmers were the best in the world, a model of animal husbandry.

Turning to Europe, she said that recent events, such as those in Spain, proved that five minutes, rather than a week, was now a long time in politics.

Ben Wallace, Minister of State for Security, gave an insight into his brief which included responsibility for dealing with the IRA, which still exists under another name, as well as the more high-profile ISIS and al-Quaeda. At home, serious organised crime, cyber security, GCHQ, MI5, MI6, the National Crime Agency, the internet and counter-espionage were his responsibilities.

Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall paid tribute to his predecessor Richard Rhodes, whom he said had laid an excellent foundation for him.

He said his priorities were anti-social behaviour, public safety, domestic violence, child sex exploitation, hate crime and mental health and told the meeting that police numbers would not be cut because of budget constraints. He valued the role of volunteers and said the force was recruiting more ‘specials.’

The leader of Eden District Council, Cllr Kevin Beaty spoke on the subject ‘How Conservatives lead a Council’ and the new Copeland MP Trudy Harrison told the conference how she had secured the job after ringing up Conservative Central Office and undergoing a five hour interview.

Final conference speaker, Cllr James Airey, leader of the Conservative Group on Cumbria County Council, said that he regretted the county’s failure to take up an option of Government funding which would have required acceptance of the post of Mayor, but which would have brought major funding. On the positive side, he noted that unemployment in the county was at a 40-year low.