Most people now accept that the only constant in their lives is change.

The fact we are still living in a country where austerity rules means many public services are still facing challenging times.

This week this newspaper reports how schoolchildren and commuters could be left to walk one mile along unlit country lanes if the village's hail-and-ride bus service is cut from April by a cash-strapped Lancashire County Council.

Meanwhile small, rural primary schools across South Lakeland fear they may have to start raiding teaching budgets after the government - again, not exactly awash with spare funds - announced a support grant to help fund schools meals is being cut.

And there was a third blow to rural services this week when the Ministry of Justice announced Kendal Magistrates' County and County Court will close as part of cost-cutting measures by the Government. From June criminal cases will move to Barrow and Lancaster courts. The Gazette campaigned against this decision and still maintains it will be a hugely retrograde step that will have a detrimental effect on the administration of local justice.

But it's not all bad news. The Gazette also campaigned to retain Staveley and Arnside fire stations, which were under threat because of Cumbria County Council cutbacks, and last week these were saved. Meanwhile, £5 million has come from the NHS to create a new, Cumbria-based children and young people's community eating disorder service.

Priorities change over time, of course, but sometimes it feels rather like we are robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Thankfully we can always rely in this area on volunteers and ordinary members of the public to rise to the occasion when hardship threatens.

Charity workers are manning the Gateway Mobile Support Unit organised by the area's flood recovery group which has been parked at Asda in Kendal offering support and advice to those hit by December's floods.

And residents at Sandylands. along with South Lakeland District Council, have been raising cash for a new community park to help the flood-hit Kendal estate.

Times change but community spirit remains.