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  1. Wednesday 20 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage throughout the day

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

We've now finished our updates on Cumbria's news, travel and weather for the day. 

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow morning.

As always - we'd like to hear your stories and see your pictures. 

Email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook.    

Weather: Dry overnight, with sunny spells tomorrow

BBC Weather

Overnight things should stay dry with variable amounts of cloud but feeling a little cooler and fresher with lows of 14C (57F).

Tomorrow starts dry with some cloud around but we should see some sunny spells develop throughout the day. Highs of 20C (68F).

See the full forecast for your area here.

Weather chart

Storm disrupts rails services

There has been disruption on some of the county's railway lines because of the earlier storm.

A number of trains were cancelled between Oxenholme and Windermere.

And there are delays of around 40 minutes to West Coast Main Line services between Carlisle and Scotland because of signalling problems.

Power restored to most of the homes affected by earlier cut

The majority of homes and businesses that had no power because of this morning's storms have been reconnected.

Electricity North West says that at the peak of the disruption about 3,000 of its customers were cut off.

Some 347 properties are still without power in rural areas between Keswick and Penrith. The company hopes to have power restored by 18:00 at the latest.


Westmorland General Hospital ward closure plan sparks protest march

A march protesting against the planned closure of the Kentmere Mental Health Ward at Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital is to be staged in 10 days' time.

Organised by South Lakes Lib Dem MP Tim Farron, it will get under way at 13:45 at Abbot Hall Park before marchers make their way to the town centre.

Mr Farron says more than 6,500 people have already signed a petition against the plan.

He added: "Local people rely on these services. It is not right that mental health patients would be sent as far away as Carlisle, Barrow or Whitehaven. We will not let this crucial service simply be taken away from Kendal without a fight."

Westmorland General Hospital

Cumbria's floods 'set to be replicated across the country'

A source said: "It is clear that there is a very variable picture, with some infrastructure protected much better than others.

"The Cumbria floods were thought to be a bit of a freak at the time but we now realise that we can expect to see more really extreme events in different parts of the country.

"Often, the local flood records only go back 50 years, so they don't show the full range of what might happen. Natural variability in weather is much bigger than we thought.

"We haven’t found a fingerprint of climate change on recent flood events – but they are in line with what scientists say we should expect with increased warming."

Decision-makers 'have not grasped full magnitude of flood risks'

Here's some more on the story we brought you earlier that Britain's roads, bridges, railways, hospitals, electricity, gas, water and internet remain at risk from floods, a government review will admit.

A source close to the report said it was a valuable exercise in using computer models to stress-test infrastructure under extreme conditions. Further study was needed on other surface water flooding, the source added.

The review is said to conclude that decision-makers have not grasped the full magnitude of flood risks.

Workers build a wall in Glenridding

It will say core cities around the UK need better protection, and many hundreds of locally significant installations need to be improved.

In the short term, more barriers must be stockpiled to protect sub-stations, water works, hospitals, ambulance stations and telecoms centres.

In the longer term, important equipment, such as controls for electricity, need to be raised higher, away from potential flood waters. Power networks should be adapted so they can still supply energy even if one sub-station is inundated.

Slight fall in latest jobless total for Cumbria

The latest unemployment figures for Cumbria have just been published, and they show a slight fall.

There are now 4,600 people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance or Universal Credit - a fall of 295.

But this figure is just over a hundred more than at this time last year.

Job Centre

Warning to farmers and landowners about illegal storage of waste

Farmers and landowners are being warned about illegally storing bales of waste on their land.

The Environment Agency says there's been an increase in incidents where landowners are offered money to store the bales for a number of months while "an energy plant is put in place" to dispose of them.

The Agency is warning that this is not legal, the bales are often poorly wrapped and can split open, and there's a strong suspicion the bales will never be collected, leaving the landowners to foot the disposal bill.

Bales of waste on a tip
Environment Agency

Video: Lightning strike slowed down in west Cumbria

There was some dramatic weather earlier when storms struck Cumbria.

Trace Wood slowed down this footage of a lightning strike in West Cumbria:

View more on twitter

£13m leisure centre plan for Ulverston moves forward

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

Plans to build new leisure facilities for people in Ulverston have moved a step forward today.

South Lakeland councillors discussing a report into the 13 million pound development have decided to allow the next stage of the work to go ahead.

there will now be a public consultation and further studies to confirm how the new leisure centre would be paid for.

May to Farron: 'My party's a little bit bigger than yours'

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron also "warmly" welcomed the new PM Theresa May and said she has more support than when the pair were at Consett Working Men's Club (they previously battled for the North West Durham parliamentary seat in the early 1990s.) 

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP said the new Brexit unit is hiring expensive lawyers, and asks whether this will be funded by the "mythical £350m"  supposedly freed up by leaving the EU.

She said it's "absolutely right" to create an experience department to conduct the EU exit negotiations.

She adds she's happy to remember their times on the election trail and how little did people lnow they would become leaders of two political parties.

However she adds "My party's a little bit bigger than his is".

Watch the reaction to her first PMQs here.

Tim Farron

Cumbria MP asks PM to 'stop hospital cuts'

Copeland Labour MP Jamie Reed wished new PM Theresa May well at Prime Minister's Questions.

He thanked her for supporting "official Labour Party policy" on Trident, adding it was a "refreshing change" to hear that at the dispatch box, a remark aimed at leader Jeremy Corbyn and his opposition to renewing the UK's nuclear deterrent.

Copeland Labour MP Jamie Reed

He then asked her if she would visit his constituency and see West Cumberland Hospital to "stop her Government cutting services there further".

Mrs May said she will look closely at all invitations, but added it was important NHS decisions are taken on a local level.

Watch the debate live here.

Aussie takes in Furness sights on epic coastal charity trek

North West Evening Mail


An Australian man who is relying on Google Maps to navigate around Britain is walking along the Cumbria coast today.

Josh Hicks, 25, is trekking from Barrow to Millom this afternoon in the latest part of his 6,000 mile journey.

Josh Hicks
NW Evening Mail

Keswick Convention could bring in more than £2m

It's estimated that the Keswick Convention - one of the largest Christian gatherings in the UK - could generate £2.3m for the local economy.

Around 12,000 people are expected to attend the annual convention which runs over three weeks, and local accommodation providers are among those who should benefit.

The bulk of the guest houses, certainly in the first two weeks, will be taken up by conventioners. Probably about 75 to 80%"

Vanessa MetcalfeKeswick Tourism Association
Keswick Convention banner

Man jailed for second knife offence

Lee Macaulay

Journalist, BBC Cumbria

A Brampton man has been jailed for committing a second knife crime in the space of a year. 

Police stopped 36-year-old Christopher Cooke while he was driving a van in Carlisle in May and found a lock knife hidden in his sock. 

Carlisle Crown Court heard he committed the offence while subject to a court order for threatening a man with a knife last October. 

Cooke, from Gelt Road in Brampton, pleaded guilty to possessing the knife and was given a 10-month prison sentence.

Surface water flooding due to thunderstorms

The worst of the rain seems to have passed Carlisle, but it's left its mark.

This is Greta Avenue, near Morton Park.

Greta Avenue near Morton Park in Carlisle
Lucy jones

And Asda says its Kingstown store had to close temporarily "for health and safety reasons" but has now reopened.   

Museum wins Somme commemoration funding

Sara Dumbell

Journalist, BBC Radio Cumbria

Cumbria's Museum of Military Life in Carlisle Castle is to get an Arts Council grant of more than £14,000 towards planned events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

The project will see the museum team up with schools throughout the county during September and culminate in the creation of a commemorative quilt which is expected to go on show in November.

Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life
Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life

Each patch of the quilt will be the same size as tins of chocolates that were sent out to soldiers for Christmas 1914. 

Jules Wooding, the museum's learning and access officer said: "This funding gives us a fantastic opportunity to work in a more creative way with communities."

More power problems due to thunderstorms

There are now 1,800 properties in Cumbria currently without power because of this morning's thunderstorms, Electricity North West says.

At the worst point, as many as 3,000 homes were affected.

The worst affected area at the moment is Penrith with about 1,000 properties without power. 

The number in Keswick is 600, with 100 in Carlisle and 100 spread out across other areas.

Meanwhile, Cumbria Highways are now dealing with a set of traffic lights at Langwathby near Penrith which was struck by lightning this morning.

Council to consider £13m Ulverston leisure centre plan

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

A step could be taken today towards a new swimming pool and leisure complex in Ulverston costing around £13m.

A study going before South Lakeland's Cabinet is recommending a new centre, built on the site of the existing tennis facility.

The plan includes a six-lane 25m swimming pool to replace a four-lane one, a new sports hall, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, fitness studios, pitches and a bowling green.

The report says the development will  have "prospects of operating on a sustainable financial model, moving to a zero public subsidy".

Labour MP set to ask PMQ today

Copeland Labour MP Jamie Reed will ask Prime Minister Theresa May only her second ever question at PMQs this afternoon:

View more on twitter

Infrastructure 'still faces flood risk'

Roger Harrabin

BBC environment analyst

Britain's roads, bridges, railways, hospitals, electricity, gas, water and internet remain at risk from floods, a government review will admit.

It will say some services – such as electricity – are increasingly protected from extreme rains but others - like telecoms - lag behind.

BBC News understands the study will say rainfall should be managed from the source of the river to the sea.

Flooding in Carlisle
Getty Images

The review was prompted by December's floods in Cumbria and the wider the North of England.

Its conclusions will be widely welcomed, but some critics warn the report masks the full problem by ignoring some types of flooding.

Map shows where lightning has struck

There have been lightning strikes across Cumbria this morning as well as in other parts of the country.

The Met Office has tweeted this map showing where the strikes have hit in the last hour or so.

View more on twitter

Thousands descend on Keswick for religious festival

Colin Briggs

Look North

An estimated 12,000 Christians have arrived in Keswick for the 141st Keswick Convention.

The convention has been an annual event in the town for generations and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the UK and around the world. 

This year's theme is "The Power to Change" and includes a wide range of speakers from all over the globe. 

The convention lasts for three weeks and among the issues up for for discussion this year will be "raising children in a sex-saturated world".

We'll have more on this in Look North tonight at 18:30.

School closed due to 'severe' storm damage

Cockermouth School says it's having to close today because of "severe storm water damage" caused by the weather currently hitting the county.

Thunder storms have brought torrential rain to many areas and driving conditions are hazardous.

Watch the forecast below:

Weather: weather_northeast.avi

Almost 1,000 homes without power

Electricity North West is reporting a major power fault affecting homes in part of Carlisle.

View more on twitter

Thunder storms hitting Cumbria

Thunder, lightning and torrential rain are making their presence felt across much of the county this morning.

The skies were ominously dark before the rain fell, leading to hazardous driving conditions.

A Met Office Weather Warning for heavy rain is in place until 21:00. 

Stormy skies over Carlisle

Weather: Storms arrive in Carlisle

BBC Cumbria

The storms have definitely arrived in Cumbria, as this video shot from our office a few minutes ago shows.

Storms in Carlisle

The forecast today is that heavy and thundery downpours will continue to drift northwards during the morning, which will gradually clear. 

It will become mostly dry with sunny spells for the afternoon, but with the risk of further scattered showers.

Feeling very warm and humid.

Check the weather where you are here.

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