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  1. Updates on Thursday 22 September 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


We've now finished this service of news and information for Cumbria for today. News, travel reports and a regular weather forecast will start flowing again from 08:00 tomorrow.

As always, if you've news you think we should know about or a photo you'd like to share, you can email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook

Have a very good evening.

Appleby vows to carry on fight to keep care home open

People in Appleby say they're deeply disappointed by a decision to close a care home in the town, and they'll try to find other ways to keep it going.

Cumbria County Council cabinet members voted not to reopen the Edenside home because the risk of it being flooded again was too great.

For the moment, the 15 residents will be cared for in Penrith, but councillors say there'll be a review of ways to care for older people in Appleby in future.

The home's been registered as an asset of community value, which means local people must be given six months to try to find ways to keep it going.

We won't give up, we'll continue the fight, and hopefully we'll be able to get Edenside back open as a residential care home."

Caroline DodgeonTown Clerk, Appleby

Relegation 'promises more victories for West Cumbria RL teams'

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

The editor of rugby league's leading journal says he doesn't believe relegation will be the beginning of the end for Whitehaven and Workington Town.

Martyn Sadler, who edits the Rugby League Express, believes both West Cumbria sides could actually see their crowds increase next season despite their relegation to League One, because they'll win more matches at that level.

Rugby league fans want to support winning sides, no matter what competition they play in."

Martyn SadlerEditor, Rugby League Express

Woman spared jail after attacking police officer

A woman who attacked a police officer while subject to a suspended jail sentence for a previous assault has been spared a prison term after promising to curb her drinking.

Sarah Jane Stedman, 21, of Fraser Grove, Carlisle, faced two charges of assault after trouble flared in Botchergate in August.

After punching a fellow reveller, she abused PC Rachel McClearly, punched her in the face and kicked her in the shins.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Judge Barbara Forrester suspended a two-month prison sentence after hearing of Stedman's remorse.

She also imposed a four-month curfew and ordered the defendant to complete 130 hours of unpaid work.

Cumbria's weather: Mostly dry, but chance of heavy showers

BBC Weather

Tonight should be mostly dry and clear, but with a few heavy showers, with the temperature dropping to about 9C (48F).

Weather graphic

And this evening's sunshine should keep these roses, photographed by David Mark Hudson, blooming a little longer in Sedbergh. 

To send in photographs or news; you can email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook

And you can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here.

David Mark Hudson

Recycling rates climb in South Lakeland

South Lakeland council refuse wagons have been picking up record tonnages of material for recycling.

In August this year, 526 tonnes of recyclable materials such as glass and metal were collected, compared with the previous record of 465 tonnes in August 2014.

And green waste for composting topped 1,392 tonnes, again compared with the previous best of 1,260 tonnes.

Councillors say it's because collections for plastics and cardboard have recently been introduced in large areas, and this seem to have prompted an increase in all materials.

Today's main news in Cumbria

Here's the top stories today:

Hundreds of people who packed a public meeting in Whitehaven have been told the options being considered for maternity care in West Cumbria, could mean more mothers being taken to hospital in Carlisle.

A care home in Appleby, flooded in Storm Desmond, will not reopen because of the risk of it being inundated again, councillors have decided.

This years International Comic Arts festival in Kendal will include Peter Rabbit reimagined in modern style.

Police release CCTV in hunt for sex attacker

Detectives are trying to trace a man caught on camera in Lowther Street  in Carlisle around the time a woman was sexually assaulted early this morning.

CCTV image
Cumbria police

The attack happened on Victoria Viaduct at about 02:00, when a man who had initially been friendly towards the woman, assaulted her when she resisted his advances.

The man is white, in his mid 20s and about 5ft 7in.

Your pictures: Sunny Staveley

BBC Weather Watchers

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher, Bruce's View, for this lovely photo taken in Staveley near Kendal. You can feel the warmth of the sun from here.

See more photos here.

Rural view in the sunshine

Apprentices learning dying rural skills

Jennie Dennett

BBC Cumbria

Six apprentices have started their training today, in a lottery-funded project to preserve dying rural skills.

The apprentices will learn how to repair gates and walls, and coppice woodland, while working for the Rusland Horizons project.

Claire Green, who is supervising the apprentices says: "It's a really important part of the area's landscape and heritage but in recent years the woodland has suffered a lot of neglect."

New apprentices

Colourful herd flock together for the first time

From today, for a short time only, you can see a flock of 108 life-sized painted Herdwick ewes and lambs together for the first time.

The figures have been roaming the Lake District for the last few months and are estimated to have been viewed by over 25,000 people!

They're being auctioned off and all proceeds raised will go towards the £1.3million redevelopment of the Lake District Calvert Trust's Old Windebrowe site in Keswick.

The trust offers outdoor activities to people with disabilities.

Painted ewe

Ambleside celebrates the fells with a festival

The Festival of the Fells in Ambleside begins today - celebrating the village's recovery from Storm Desmond.

There are four days of events including guided walks, wild swimming, live music and cinema screenings. A group of 30 women will also attempt to break a world record pulling a car up the Kirkstone Pass.

The festival has been designed to be as accessible as possible and many activities will be wheelchair-user friendly.

Comic artists reimagine Beatrix Potter characters

More on the story we brought you earlier - comic artists have reimagined Beatrix Potter's characters to mark the 150th anniversary of her birth.

Among the illustrations are Peter Rabbit being depicted as a spaceman by Hellboy collaborator Duncan Fegredo.

Peter Rabbit as spaceman
Duncan Fegredo

The artists have contributed their works to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in support of the Beatrix Potter Reimagined student art competition.

The contest encouraged students to give Beatrix Potter a modern or unusual twist and create new work in a comic style.

Writer and illustrator Hannah Berry created a traditional comic strip which depicts Peter Rabbit story as a criminal who steals vegetables.

Hannah Berry's artwork
Hannah Berry

Flood-hit Appleby care home will not be reopened

BBC Cumbria

It has been announced that a flood-hit care home in Appleby, Edenside will not be reopened. 

The building which is next to the River Eden closed initially in December and residents were relocated so Cumbria County Council could assess the scale of the damage and repairs needed.

After looking through the findings of a consultation today at a cabinet meeting in Kendal, Cumbria County Council made the decision not to reopen the care home. Officials said they shouldn't risk the the potential threat for flooding in the future.  

Barrow Forum's future to go out to consultation

People in Barrow are being given the chance to have their say on plans to outsource the running of the Forum arts and entertainment venue.

Barrow Forum

It's one of a number of controversial proposals driven by the need to find further savings of more than £2m because of cuts in funding from central Government.

City racecourse plans a Red Rum special

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

Carlisle Racecourse will mark the 40th anniversary of the legendary Red Rum's final win at the city track with a special Red Rum Day on Thursday 13 October.

Red Rum famously ran a winner at Carlisle before each of his three Grand National triumphs.

Hospitals boss: 'Most West Cumbria mums could go to Carlisle'

The loss of a consultant-led maternity unit in Whitehaven could mean most mothers being booked into hospital in Carlisle, according to the man in charge of reforming the North Cumbria hospitals trust.

Sir Neil McKay

Sir Neil McKay was speaking to BBC Radio Cumbria after a public meeting in west Cumbria heard heated criticism of a proposal to have a midwife-led unit at the West Cumberland Hospital, with consultant services for all but straightforward births at Carlisle, more than thirty miles away.

Sir Neil was keen to stress all options were still open and the solution would have to be safe: "The majority of women will be booked into Carlisle and that would be very carefully managed.  If women attend what would be a midwifery-led unit in Whitehaven, there would be a dedicated ambulance for them."

Cumbria's weather: sunny and dry

There should be plenty of sunny spells to come this afternoon with most places staying dry. 

Pleasant rather than warm though, with temperatures rising to 15C (59F)

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are, here.

What would the famous Lake District farmer and writer have made of this...?

Comic artists including Luke McGarry, who created the Trainspotting film poster, have reimagined Beatrix Potter's characters to mark the 150th anniversary of her birth.

Luke McGarry

Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck feature in McGarry's "Beatrixpotting" line-up.

McGarry, along with Walking Dead's Charlie Adlard and Hellboy collaborator Duncan Fegredo, are supporting a student art competition being held as part of the Lakes International Festival of Comic Art in Kendal in October.

Watch: Eden hospice volunteers pound pompom record

Martin Lewes


Congratulations to the volunteers from Eden Valley Hospice who rolled out a world record in the Sands Shopping Centre in Carlisle last night, with a string of pompoms 1,202m long.

The string was made up of 29,312 pompoms - leaving a few over for a quick juggle, by the look of it.

View more on twitter

Carlisle directors still silent on 'mystery billionaire' latest

Paul Newton

Sports Editor, BBC Cumbria

Carlisle United directors are still to reveal to outcome of a board meeting last week to review the on-going saga of the "mystery billionaire" investor.

Nearly 500 days have passed since the club first announced an approach from an agent of the un-named foreign businessman.

The club is understood to be still working on a statement following the meeting of United's directors seven days ago.

'Dedicated ambulance' for mums and babies if hospital loses consultants

Lee Macaulay

Journalist, BBC Cumbria

An ambulance would be put on standby to transfer patients to Carlisle if West Cumbria's main hospital lost its maternity consultant cover, a meeting was told last night.

Public meeting

The Success regime, a team of officials from NHS England, has suggested that the West Cumberland Hospital's maternity department could become a freestanding midwife-led unit, with patients needing consultants transferred to a more-specialised unit at Carlisle.

The meeting heard a promise of an ambulance permanently ready to take patients on the 39-mile journey, but Labour county councillor Christine Wharrier described the idea as "ludicrous".

If someone has a major heart attack, and you've got an ambulance standing by outside maternity, and you say it can't come just in case - that won't work."

Christine WharrierCounty councillor

Police: Carlisle bypass should reopen 'soon'

Police say they're in the final stages of dealing with an accident on the northern bypass around Carlisle.

View more on twitter

Tweeting shepherd watches 'back end' roll in

James Rebanks, whose books about the life of a Cumbrian hill farmer are best sellers, keeps his 84,000 Twitter followers up to date with the changing seasons.

View more on twitter

Central Barrow 'worst in UK' for child poverty

Some parents in Barrow struggle to dress or feed their children properly because of poverty, according to a local headteacher.

A report out today from the Child Poverty Action Group says families on minimum wages do not have enough money to cover the cost of bringing up children.

Figures from Cumbria county council say 11,700 children live in poverty in Cumbria, with the central ward in Barrow having the worst deprivation in the UK.

Caroline Walker, who's head of the Parkside GGI Academy in Barrow, told BBC Radio Cumbria that  some children's development was affected by poor nutrition. You can hear her interview here.

Mountain road crash victim was from Cheshire

Martin Lewes


We've more information on the fatal crash on Wrynose pass near Ambleside yesterday.

A statement just released by Cumbria Police says the driver of the Volkswagen Touareg was in his 50s and from Cheshire. 

The steep and narrow road was closed for about 12 hours while officers investigated the crash and recovered the vehicle.

Crash on northern bypass between car and tanker

BBC Travel

The crash on the Carlisle northern bypass involved a car and a tanker, the BBC Travel website says.

The road could be closed for sometime after the collision.

Appleby care home moves closer to closure after floods

A report to a Cumbria County Council meeting today says Appleby's only care home should not reopen after last winter's flooding.

Edenside Home

Since Storm Desmond, residents from Edenside have been living elsewhere while the council looked at the safety of the building in Appleby, and the future risk of flooding.

Today at a cabinet meeting, councillors will be told that locals responding to a consultation want the home reopened, but the risk of flooding in future and the stress to residents of having to leave the home means this is not the preferred option.

Driver dies in mountain crash

A man has died after his car left the road on one of Cumbria's mountain passes.

Wrynose Pass

Police were alerted at about 11:45 yesterday, and volunteers from the Langdale Ambleside mountain rescue team were also called out to assist them.

The steep narrow road was closed for a number of hours. Police say they'd like to hear from anyone who saw what happened.

Travel: A590 and Carlisle bypass shut by crashes

BBC Travel

A five-vehicle crash has shut the A590 eastbound at Swarthmoor, between Ulverston and Barrow, with severe delays.

And Cumbria Police says the Carlisle northern bypass could be closed for sometime after an accident.

View more on twitter

The latest travel reports are here.

Cumbria's weather: Cloudy start, sunny later

BBC Weather

After a rather cloudy start with the odd spot of rain around, it should start to brighten up into the afternoon with some sunny spells and most places staying dry.  

Temperatures should rise to about 15C (59F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are, here.

Packed meeting hears West Cumberland hospital concerns

Hundreds of people packed into a public meeting in Whitehaven last night to voice their concerns over what health services will continue at the West Cumberland Hospital.

People at public meeting

The meeting heard proposals for a dedicated ambulance to transfer emergency cases to Carlisle if the maternity unit in West Cumbria lost consultant cover and was run by midwives.

Staff there claim this would be dangerous, but they haven't been allowed to voice their concerns properly; Stephen Eames the chief executive of the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, rejected accusations of "gagging".

The only time one would do that is if what was being said was somehow damaging to other people. We've actually encouraged our staff, there would be no problem with anybody speaking here."

Stephen EamesChief executive, North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning and welcome to this service of news, travel reports, and a regular weather forecast for Cumbria.

As always, if you've news you think we should know about or a photo you'd like to share, you can email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook