Morning digest - Man who attacked mum given hospital order, poverty in Blackpool no better and works starts to repair Wallgate Bridge

AN MP has accused Virgin Trains of ripping off rail users in Lancashire.

AN MP has accused Virgin Trains of ripping off rail users in Lancashire.

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Catch up with all the latest news from Lancashire and across the country with our morning roundup.

MP ACCUSES RAIL COMPANY OF RIPPING OFF PRESTON PASSENGERS

AN MP has accused Virgin Trains of “ripping off” rail users in Lancashire.

Mark Menzies claims the company is “milking” passengers between Preston and London by charging more than three times as much as those from Lancaster travelling on the same trains. “I find it abhorrent,” said the Fylde MP who has pledged to raise the matter in Parliament. “It is a very poorly thought-out pricing policy and it must stop now.”

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HEYSHAM MAN WHO ATTACKED ELDERLY MUM WITH CONCRETE SLAB GIVEN HOSPITAL ORDER

A man who attacked his elderly mother with a piece of concrete has been handed a hospital order. Philip Youren, who was 57 at the time of the incident last June, pleaded guilty to wounding his mother Mavis, then 85, when he appeared at Preston Crown Court.

Youren, of Heysham, suffers mental health problems and was handed an order under the mental health act, after Judge Sara Dodd ruled a prison sentence would not be suitable. It is understood Mavis has made a full recovery from the attack and has now returned home.

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'POVERTY IN BLACPOOL ISN'T GETTING ANY BETTER

Volunteers have noticed the number of people using food banks has soared by 25% in the last 12 months. They are the safety net there to catch people as they hit rock bottom.

Many of the volunteers working with charities to support those in need, who are living in poverty and struggling to provide for themselves or their families, have first-hand experience of the hardship they see every day.

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DEVELOPERS EYE NEXT MOVE FOR FORMER FLEETWOOD PIER SITE

The team behind controversial plans to build ultra modern apartments on Fleetwood seafront is now considering its next move after the scheme was rejected by planners.

Simmo Developments argued that the 15 apartments for the over-55s and retail units, to be sited on the former Fleetwood Pier site, would provide vital housing provision in Wyre.

And planning agent Tony McAteer, who put forward the case for the scheme before Wyre planners on Wednesday, said organisations such as Natural England and Historic England had no objection to what was a “fair application”.

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WORK STARTS TO REPAIR WALLGATE BRIDGE

Work has started on repairs to a bridge which collapsed last month, plunging town centre roads in chaos. Wigan Wallgate bridge has been closed off since early December when a disused subway wall collapsed outside Wigan North Western station.

One lane of Queen Street was reopened after a clean up operation was completed but the affected area remains fenced off while Network Rail repair the wall.

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NATIONAL

CORBYN: UK CAN BE BETTER OFF AFTER BREXIT

Jeremy Corbyn will insist Britain "can be better off" after quitting the European Union as he says Labour is "not wedded" to freedom of movement in a major speech on Brexit.

Labour wants "fair rules and reasonably managed migration" in the settlement between the UK and EU but the country cannot afford to lose full access to the single market, the Opposition leader will say.

The speech comes after months of confusion over Labour's approach to immigration, with deputy leader Tom Watson admitting on Sunday the party's policy was unclear.

TEENAGER ARRESTED AFTER DEATH OF GIRL, SEVEN, IN YORK

A teenager has been arrested after the death of a seven-year-old girl, police have said.

Officers are questioning the 15-year-old girl after officers were called to an address in Woodthorpe, York, and found the victim nearby with life-threatening injuries.

The girl was taken to hospital but died a short time later, North Yorkshire Police said.

MORE TRAVEL CHAOS LOOMS AS TRANSPORT WORKERS' STRIKES SET TO CONTINUE

Strikes by transport workers will continue to cause misery for passengers this week following a 24-hour walkout by London Underground workers which led to widespread disruption.

Tube stations across the capital were closed by the walkout over job cuts, which ended at 6pm on Monday, forcing people to drive, walk, cycle or join massive queues for buses.

Southern Railway passengers will suffer a fresh bout of chaos on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday when Aslef drivers go on strike in a bitter dispute over driver-only trains.

UK FIRST IN LINE FOR US TRADE DEAL, SAYS JOHNSON AFTER TALKS WITH TRUMP TEAM

Britain is "first in line" for a trade deal with the US, Boris Johnson has said after talks with Donald Trump's senior advisers.

The closeness of the relationship between the UK and US will not change once the president-elect takes office, the Foreign Secretary insisted.

Mr Johnson, who once joked that he would not visit parts of New York because of the "real risk of meeting Donald Trump", lavished praised on the Republican's "exciting agenda of change".

MPs TO BE BRIEFED AS McGUINNESS RESIGNATION BRINGS DOWN NI EXECUTIVE

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will address MPs on Tuesday after Martin McGuinness's resignation caused the power-sharing agreement to descend into crisis.

James Brokenshire will update the House of Commons after the Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister resigned in protest at the Democratic Unionists' handling of a botched green energy scheme.

Mr McGuinness's decision to walk away after 10 years sharing power with the DUP came as First Minister Arlene Foster refused to stand aside to facilitate a probe into the ill-fated renewable heat incentive (RHI) - the so-called "cash for ash" furore.

GOVERNMENT 'DRAGGING ITS FEET' OVER NEW LAW ON PAEDOPHILES

Child safety campaigners have accused the Government of "dragging its feet" over a law giving police new powers to tackle paedophiles.

An offence created to target those who groom young victims online has yet to be formally triggered in England and Wales - nearly two years after it was placed on the statute book, according to the NSPCC.

Under Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 a person aged 18 or over commits a crime if they send a sexual communication to a child aged under 16 for the purpose of sexual gratification.

'STALLING OF PROGRESS' IN EFFORTS TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE

Consumers are throwing away £13 billion of edible food from homes a year, figures suggest.

In 2015 the average household wasted £470 worth of food which went in the bin when it could have been eaten, new estimates from waste and recycling expert body Wrap shows.

The latest figures show efforts to tackle food waste from homes have stalled in the past few years, with 7.3 million tonnes thrown away in 2015, compared to seven million tonnes in 2012.

TRUMP SON-IN-LAW TO TAKE ON SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ROLE

President-elect Donald Trump's influential son-in-law Jared Kushner will join him in the White House as a senior adviser, transition officials said on Monday.

The appointment puts the young real estate executive in position to exert broad sway over both domestic and foreign policy, particularly Middle East issues and trade negotiations.

Mr Trump has come to rely heavily on Mr Kushner, who is married to the president-elect's daughter Ivanka.

WATCHDOG CALLS FOR ACTION AFTER TRANSGENDER PRISONER DEATHS

A flurry of deaths of transgender prisoners underlines the need for action to address the issue, a watchdog has said.

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen called for jails to be more flexible and proactive in managing such inmates.

He said his office has historically received few complaints from prisoners identifying themselves as transgender and has investigated relatively few deaths in custody.

BRITISH OSCAR HOPEFULS TURN SIGHTS TO BAFTAS

British Oscar hopefuls fresh from the Golden Globes will hear later if they have received a Bafta nod.

The EE British Academy Film Awards, the biggest awards show outside the US, attracts Hollywood A-listers as well as home-grown talent.

Skyfall star Naomie Harris is considered a favourite for a best supporting actress nod for her role as a crack addict in coming-of-age drama Moonlight, while Andrew Garfield will be hoping for a best actor nomination for his performance as a combat medic in Mel Gibson's Second World War film Hacksaw Ridge.