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  1. Updates on Thursday 30 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Martin Lewes


    Live updates have finished now for the day. We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow with news, travel reports and the weather forecast.

    You can send in news and pictures using Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or by posting on our Facebook page

  2. Landowners give cautious welcome to flood prevention ideas

    A landowners'association has said it supports plans to reduce flooding in towns by managing the headwaters of Cumbria's rivers, but schemes must be paid for.

    A government report published today said restoring peatlands and planting trees could help the land absorb water and release it slowing, meaning rivers didn't rise so high after heavy rain.

    Robert Frewen from the Country Land and Business Association, said landowners and farmers want to play their part: "But this needs to be coupled with long term certainty of funding."

  3. Travel: Debris block M6 lane

    BBC Travel

    One lane's blocked on M6 southbound after junction 38, at Tebay, because of corrugated metal on the road.  

    You can get the latest travel update here.

  4. Floods minister aims to use the landscape to slow the deluge

    A new government plan to reduce flooding in Cumbria's been published today.

    The floods minister Rory Stewart, who's also MP for Penrith and the Border, says immediate measures have been taken to make sure Cumbria's existing flood defences are well-maintained.

    Looking further ahead, £72m has been set aside for a wide range of measures, including restoring  350 acres of peatland around the headwaters of the rivers Derwent, Eden and Kent.

    Mr Stewart says this can mean the water doesn't all rush down into the valleys at once. 

    Quote Message: By planting trees you can absorb the water, and by using peat and other methods you can slow the flow so instead of all the water hammering down instantly from the top of Helvellyn into Keswick, you can smooth it over time and the river levels will rise more steadily and more slowly." from Rory Stewart Floods minister
    Rory StewartFloods minister
  5. Inquest told driver 'swerved' into swollen river

    An inquest in Kendal's recorded a conclusion of accidental death on a driver whose car was swept down a river through the middle of the town.

    The driver was said to have swerved to avoid another car at a pedestrian crossing.

    Car after recovery

    The hearing was told people watched in horror as Charles Mercer's car, pictured after it was recovered, crashed through railings on Aynam Road and was washed away in the River Kent, which was in spate.

    As 86-year-old Mr Mercer, who was known as Joe, clung to the car, a woman tried to reach him with a branch - then a former mountain rescue volunteer tried to dangle a climbing rope where Mr Mercer, known as Joe, could reach it as he passed under a bridge.

    But by then Mr Mercer was unresponsive, and his body was found a mile or so downstream the following morning.

    The coroner praised those who'd tried to rescue him.

  6. Coroner praises rescue effort

    John Bowness

    BBC Radio Cumbria reporter

    A coroner has praised witnesses who used rope and a tree branch to try and reach man whose car had gone into river Kent.

    The inquest in Kendal heard how frantic efforts were made to save his life.

    Two witnesses told the hearing in Kendal how they tried to use the branch and climbing rope to try to reach 86-year-old Charles Mercer, from Cartmel, as he was swept down the river near Nether Bridge, in November. 

    But Mr Mercer didn't respond, and was last seen as he vanished downstream from Romney Bridge. His body was found in the river the next morning. 

    The coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.

  7. Trowels out in Appleby as Lottery funds archeology project

    Local archeologists in Appleby are planning a series of digs around the town to find out more about its origins


    The group says there's been relatively little archeology undertaken in the town's historic centre, partly because of the lack of modern development.

    The Heritage Lottery Fund's now given £9,300 towards the "Dig Appleby" project, which will lead to a number of excavations, large and small, through the town.  People will be able to dig test holes in their own gardens.

    Appleby Archaeology Group’s research officer, Martin Railton, said: “We are inviting residents of all ages from the town to become part of the project and to helpdiscover more about what lies beneath.”  

  8. Cumbria Labour MP urges leader to step down

    The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has "sought to inject an unprecedented poison" into his party, The Copeland Labour MP Jamie Reed said in a letter to him last night.

    Jamie Reed

    Mr Reed is among a number of MPs urging Mr Corbyn to stand down as leader.

    However, the party's MP for South Shields, Emma Lewell-Buck, said in her letter resigning as shadow minister that she was "appalled" at the way Mr Corbyn was being treated.

    The Labour Party has been approached for comment.

  9. Minister details plans to defend county against floods

    What the government calls a comprehensive and detailed plan to protect Cumbria from flooding has been published by the county MP and minister Rory Stewart.

    The plan includes £72m of funding to protect at least 4,300 homes. 


    The report says roads, bridges and flood defences have been repaired and strengthened in time for this winter, and officials are working with landowners and rivers trusts to reduce the flow of floodwater off the fells.  

    More than 70,000 tonnes of silt and gravel has been dredged from rivers and more work is planned in Kendal, Workington and Carlisle. 

    A network of flood action groups is being set up to help make communities more resilient.

  10. BreakingAccidental death verdict on driver swept away in river

    An inquest in Kendal's recorded a verdict of accidental death on an 86-year-old driver who was swept away after his car crashed into the swollen River Kent.

    Frantic efforts were made to save Charles Mercer as he clung to his car as it was washed through the centre of the town.

  11. Inquest told of desperate bids to rescue driver in river

    John Bowness

    BBC Radio Cumbria reporter

    An inquest in Kendal has heard how frantic efforts were made to save the life of a man who'd driven his car into the River Kent  last year. 

    Two witnesses told the hearing in Kendal how they tried to use a tree branch and climbing rope to try to reach 86-year-old Charles Mercer, from Cartmel, as he was swept down the river near Nether Bridge, in November. 

    But Mr Mercer didn't respond, and was last seen as he vanished downstream from Romney Bridge. His body was found in the river the next morning. 

    Divers with car in river

    His car emerged in the river near Romney Bridge as the water level dropped. 

    The hearing continues.

  12. Cumbria MEP calls for 'orderly contest' for Labour leadership

    Julie Ward, the North West MEP from Workington, has said she did not sign a letter from her European Parliament colleagues calling for the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to consider his position.

    Julie Ward

    This morning the MEP said: "I am concerned that an orchestrated campaign against our leader has been under way for some time and that this undermines our ability to move forward. There must now be a calm and orderly leadership contest."

    This morning the Wallasey MP Angela Eagle was expected to launch her campaign against Mr Corbyn.

    The Labour leader was elected last year with the support of 60% of party members, but Labour MP's have passed a vote of no confidence in him.

  13. Dealer jailed over Carlisle heroin ring

    A drug dealer from Merseyside has been jailed for three years after a police investigation into the supply of large quantities of heroin into Carlisle.

    Steven Wong

    Steven Wong, 20, of Osborne Road, Tuebrook, Liverpool, and his father John, who was jailed last year, were both couriers for a gang in Carlisle carrying heroin from Merseyside. 

    Four men from Carlisle have already been jailed for their part in the operation. Two more Merseyside men will be sentenced later.

    Det Chief Insp Andy Hill said the trials were a result of targeting the gang.

    He said: "Drug supply almost always leads to further crimes including violence as crime groups try to establish themselves."

  14. Bishop speaks of Somme sacrifice

    The bishop of Carlisle, the Right Reverend James Newcome, will attend services in London and Manchester over the next 24 hours remembering the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

    Royal British Legion Somme logo

    Bishop James is national chaplain of the Royal British Legion.  

    He'll spend tonight on a service and vigil at Westminster Abbey, and then be in Manchester for services of commemoration at the city's cenotaph and cathedral.

  15. Top Lakes hotel goes on market

    One of the Lake District's best-known hotels is on the market. The Langdale Chase is on grounds stretching down to the shores of Windermere, with spectacular views of the fells.

    Langdale Chase hotel

    Thomas Noblett, the managing director, said: "After over 23 years together at the Hotel, myself and my fellow directors have decided it is time to retire"

    The agency dealing with the sale, JLL, has not put a price on the hotel, but invited "substantial offers".