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  1. Updates on Thursday 11 February 2016

Live Reporting

By Steven Bell

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage throughout the day

    Steven Bell

    BBC Cumbria

    Updates for Cumbria have now finished for the day. We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 tomorrow. We hope you can join us then.

    If you've got news or a picture you'd like to share with us, you can contact us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or via our Facebook page

  2. Weather: A clear night with frost and fog

    After another pleasant, sunny day across Cumbria, tonight will stay clear with frost and some fog patches. Minimum temperature -2C (29 F).

    There will be more sunshine around on Friday, which will be another largely dry day, but it will continue to feel cold. Maximum temperature 5C (41 F).

    In the meantime you can keep in touch and send us your photos: Email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook.    

    Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher Dave's View for this shot of Millom.

    Millom coast
  3. MP's step-down call follows criticism of police investigation into Poppi Worthington's death

    Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock called for Cumbria's acting chief constable Michelle Skeer to step down during a debate in the House of Commons this afternoon.

    A leaked copy of the Independent Police Complaints Commission report  has said the Cumbria Police investigation into the death of 13-month-old Poppi Worthington, in Barrow, was "unstructured and disorganised".

    The report stated it took Ms Skeer, who was then assistant chief constable, more than one month to hold a meeting to discuss criticisms of the police's investigation, and when it was held, it lasted 30 minutes and they did not go through the judgement.  

  4. BreakingPoppi Worthington: MP says senior Cumbria Police officer should quit

    The Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock has called for the resignation of Cumbria's acting chief constable Michelle Skeer for alleged failings over the inquiry into Poppi Worthington's death.

  5. We're wishing Martin Lewes a speedy recovery

    Steven Bell

    BBC Cumbria

    We're passing on our very best wishes to our colleague Martin Lewes, who was hurt when he came off his bicycle while crossing a temporary bridge at Middleton, between Kirkby Lonsdale and Sedbergh.

    Martin, who usually writes updates for this live page following many years as BBC Radio Cumbria's Kendal reporter, damaged several vertebrae as well as suffering facial injuries.

    He is now back home but has to wear a collar and it will be some time before he is back writing these updates.

    Martin said: "I am very grateful to a lot of people in different ways for how they helped me."

    Martin Lewes
  6. Arrest made over attempted robbery at Kendal shop

    A 27-year-old man  has been arrested by police investigating an attempted robbery in Kendal last night.

    The man has been arrested on suspicion of robbery.

    The police were called to Castle Stores last night after reports someone working at the shop was threatened with a knife.

    Picture of Castle Stores

    Cumbria Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the incident.

  7. Flood threat lifted at Keswick Campsite

    Steven Bell

    BBC Cumbria

    It's always the first part of Cumbria to be placed on flood alert during heavy rain, but here's something the Keswick Campsite isn't used to...

    View more on twitter
  8. Poppi Worthington police failures due to be debated in Parliament

    A Home Office minister is due to face questions this evening about how Cumbria Police investigated the death of 13-month-old Poppi Worthington.

    The toddler died suddenly at her home in Barrow in 2012 and in January a family court judge ruled her father, Paul Worthington, sexually abused her before her death. He denies this. 

    Cumbria Police has been heavily criticised for a string of failings over its inquiry into Poppi's death. 

    John Woodcock, the Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, is expected to call for an independent inquiry into the failures in a House of Commons debate scheduled to start later this afternoon.

  9. Missing man found safe in Lake District

    A missing man thought to be in Cumbria has been found safe. 

    Police say Daniel Witham from West Yorkshire was located in the Kirkstone Pass area.

  10. MP: Kendal court closure 'a massive blow'

    Steven Bell

    BBC Cumbria

    There were contrasting fortunes today for campaigns to keep two Cumbrian magistrates' courts open.

    The Kendal courthouse will close in June as part of Government cost-cutting measures, but the court in Workington has escaped the same fate.

    The MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, told BBC Radio Cumbria: "It will be a massive blow to everyone in the South Lakes when it comes to access to justice."

    He added: "Fundamentally, what Michael Gove (the Justice Secretary) and the Government have chosen to do here is to decide that justice in rural communities doesn't matter as much as justice in urban ones."

    Tim Farron speaking

    According to the Ministry of Justice, it cost about £244,000 to run Kendal Magistrates' Court in 2014/15, and the building is only used 13% of the time. 

    The Labour MP for Copeland, Jamie Reed, has described news that West Cumbria Magistrates' Court is staying open as a "victory for common sense".

    This follows concerns that limited public transport in parts of West Cumbria would have made it difficult for people to get to courts in Carlisle and Barrow.

  11. Lack of public transport and increased police costs reason for keeping Workington court open

    The Government has been explaining why it has decided to keep the magistrates' court in Workington open.

    It was on a list of 91 buildings earmarked for closure by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to save money, but is now one of just five that have been spared across the country.

    West Cumbria magistrates court building

    The MoJ says while it is reasonable to expect some people will have to travel further to get to a courthouse, it would be difficult for people in West Cumbria to travel to the nearest courts in Carlisle or Barrow.

    It says this is because of the rural nature of the area, in particular the length of the journey, and the lack of public transport from more isolated areas.

    Another concern highlighted was the increased travel costs Cumbria Police would have faced.

    Quote Message: Whilst we are confident that the work from West Cumbria Magistrates’ Court and County Court can be accommodated in Carlisle Magistrates’ Court and Carlisle Combined Court, on this occasion, the Lord Chancellor has concluded that the access to justice argument outweighs any efficiencies to be gained. from Ministry of Justice
    Ministry of Justice
  12. Man charged with attempted robbery in Cleator Moor

    A West Cumbrian man has been charged with attempted robbery. 

    A 27-year-old man is due to appear before magistrates today. 

    He has also been charged with threatening a person with an offensive weapon in a public place.

    The charges relate to an incident at the Sproats Newsagents on Ennerdale Road on Tuesday, where a woman working at the shop was allegedly threatened with a knife and injured.

  13. New habitats for the natterjack toad as unwanted plant is ripped out

    Neil Smith

    South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

    An invasive plant which is damaging sand dunes on Walney Island is being removed in a project that will also help the rare natterjack toads.

    Japanese rose is out-competing all other plants at the North Walney National Nature Reserve.

    In the areas where the Japanese rose is eradicated, the new scrapes that will be dug out will become breeding ponds for the endangered natterjacks.

    Digger working at Walney Nature Reserve

    Steve Benn, who oversees the reserve, said expert advice has been taken from the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust over where to create the new scrapes to give the natterjacks the best chance of success. 

  14. Kendal Magistrates' Court closure: Cases to move to Barrow and Lancaster

    Criminal and civil cases in South Lakeland will soon be handled 37 miles away in Barrow or 25 miles away in Lancaster, after today's announcement that Kendal Magistrates Court will shut.

    The Burneside Road building is one of 86 that are being closed in England and Wales.   

    Kendal magistrates court

    The Ministry of Justice says the original consultation proposed moving all cases to Barrow, but now some criminal work will go to Lancaster.

    It says the journey by car between the court houses in Kendal and Lancaster takes about 32 minutes by road, 26 minutes by train and up to an hour and 12 minutes by bus - something HM Courts & Tribunals Service does not consider to be excessive.  

    More use will also be made of digital technology, such as video conferencing, and the possibility of using civic buildings for some hearings will also be looked at.

    The Kendal court is expected to close in June.

  15. Kendal celebrates bridge's reopening

    Steven Bell

    BBC Cumbria

    If you use Twitter, look out for a new campaign which has started after the reopening of Victoria Bridge in Kendal.

    Known in the town as 'Batman Bridge', it was closed for a month after being damaged by the raging flood waters of the River Kent.  

    Victoria Bridge in Kendal

    Now, posters are going up in businesses to spread the word that it's open again.

    And social media users are being asked to talk about it, using the hashtag #bridgeisback

    View more on twitter
  16. Weather: Cold, but plenty of sunshine

    BBC Weather

    It will be a chilly afternoon in Cumbria but, like yesterday, there will be plenty of sunny spells around.

    Although it should remain fine all afternoon, the odd shower is possible, which may be wintry over the fells. Maximum temperature 6C (43F).

    If you're out and about enjoying the sunshine and you've taken a photo you'd like to share with us, you can contact us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or via our Facebook page.

    Weather graphic
  17. Council pays £1.4m to top retailer so Primark can come to Carlisle

    Bob Cooper

    Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

    It's emerged Carlisle City Council paid more than £1m to move the retailer BHS out of the Lanes Shopping Centre to make way for a new Primark store.

    The company which runs the Lanes had to pay BHS £5m to terminate its lease on the store with the council, as landlord, contributing £1.4m.

    Primark sign

    A report to the council says Primark will pay a much higher rent than BHS, some of which will come back to the council. 

    Colin Glover, the Labour leader of Carlisle City Council, said: “We’ve been looking at disposing of underperforming assets. We need to try and use assets more wisely and purchase assets with a higher yield. 

    "It’s a great investment opportunity for the city. Primark’s known as a store that will attract people and will also attract other retailers because of the increased footfall.”