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  1. Monday 26 September 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Our updates have finished for the day. We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow with news, travel reports and a regular weather forecast.

If you've a photograph to share with us or news we should know, you can email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook

Weather: Patchy rain with stronger winds

Some patchy rain will linger tonight with overcast skies. The winds will strengthen too, especially around coastal areas such as Barrow-in-Furnes, but it will be a mild night.

Weather forecast

Minimum temperature: 11C (52F). Check the forecast near you.

Nurses could do work of doctors in West Cumbria A&E

The West Cumberland Hospital A&E department could lead the country by having nurses do work normally done by doctors.

The preferred option put out for public consultation by the NHS Success Regime that's proposing changes to Cumbria's healthcare, would keep an A&E department open in Whitehaven, but train other medical staff there in emergency care.

Sir Neil McKay, who's chairing the Success Regime, says this shouldn't be seen by West Cumbrians as a second-class service.

The people who'll be running this service will be very intensively trained, they'll be supervised by doctors and consultants, and I suppose if the other choice is losing the A&E service altogether, this is far better"

Sir Neil McKay

'Fame more frightening than flying' says youngest airline captain's sister

A 26-year-old woman from Cumbria has become Easyjet's youngest-ever commercial airline captain and her sister thinks she's finding the resulting publicity far more stressful than flying an airliner.  

Kate Williams beside an aircraft

Kate McWilliams, who's originally from Carlisle, began flying when she was 13, joined the airline as a first officer five years ago, and has just passed its command course.

Kate's sister Beth McWilliams told BBC Radio Cumbria that her sister is quite shy, and thinks she'll find the media attention more challenging than flying a plane.

I was surprised that's she's in the public eye so much today, because she does get quite nervous. The most confident she is, is when she's flying I think. She's very, very good at her job.

Beth McWilliamsSister of Kate McWilliams

Travel: Rubbernecking drivers slow traffic on A590

BBC Travel

People slowing down to look at a van in the ditch near Newby Bridge are causing queues on the A590. We're told the carriageway isn't affected and recovery is now under way.

You can find the latest travel updates here.

Friends of the Earth fracking leaflet 'misleading', ad watchdog says

Friends of the Earth (FOE) misled the public in a leaflet which claimed fracking can cause cancer, the advertising watchdog has said.

The fundraising flyer also featured a photo of Grasmere in the Lake District - despite there being no plans for fracking in the area.

A draft report from the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said the charity failed to substantiate its claims about the dangers of the process.

FOE said they "would not be silenced".

fracking leaflet
Friends of the Earth

Two bailed after football supporters' bus was attacked in Cumbria

Jennie Dennett

BBC Cumbria

Two people arrested after rocks were thrown at a minibus carrying away fans, including children, after a Barrow football match, have been bailed pending further investigations.

Officers say a mini-bus carrying York City supporters was attacked, at about 17:00 on Saturday in the Walney Road area. Rocks were thrown at the vehicle, its windows were smashed, and two men were taken to hospital with head injuries.   

Cumbria Police have released a 22-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy, both from Barrow.  

Bus with windows smashed
North Yorkshire Police Football Unit @NYPYCFC

The two people arrested and bailed have been banned from the ground and the surrounding area.

Travel: Train fault causing delays

BBC Travel

There are delays of up to 45 minutes on Virgin Trains West Coast Northbound between Lancaster and Oxenholme Lake District and delays and cancellations on First Transpennine Expreee Northbound due to a fault on the train. 

More details on the BBc Travel website for Cumbria.

Call goes out for families to support adults in need

A scheme has started in Cumbria to find people who can share their homes with adults who need caring for.

The system works rather like fostering children, with hosts being paid an allowance for helping adults who need support.

Libby Potts with Wayne and Daniel
Cumbria County Council

Libby Potts has accommodated Wayne and Daniel for a number of years at her home in Carlisle: "They are part of my family now and I love watching them develop and helping them to live as independently as they are able to."

County council officials say the system works well on a larger scale elsewhere in the country and they're keen to find more people to get involved.

John 'Goldfinger' Palmer 'monitored from Cumbria since 1999

Shortly after the death of notorious conman John "Goldfinger" Palmer, it was revealed he had been under surveillance since 2007, but the BBC has discovered a team at RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria had been monitoring Palmer since 1999, including the four years he spent in jail.  

A former intelligence officer, who did not wish to be identified, said the the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca) - now the National Crime Agency - had gathered intelligence on Palmer from Cumbria because of concerns of corruption in the Metropolitan Police Service.

"The team there then collated the info together, and some of that intel was then used to inform police investigations into various parts of his criminal organisation," the officer said.

"We knew what police officers he had in his pocket, what other criminals he was mixing with, and using for various criminal enterprises."

John Palmer

Criminal was monitored for 16 years

A notorious conman who was shot dead last year had been under surveillance by secret intelligence officers for at least 16 years, the BBC has learned.

John "Goldfinger" Palmer, who was once described as Britain's richest criminal, was shot dead in the garden of his home in Essex in June 2015.

An operation, codenamed Alpine, had gathered intelligence on Palmer from RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria since 1999.

Police said Palmer's killing had "all the hallmarks" of a professional hit.

John Palmer

The full report will be on Inside Out at 19:30 on BBC One.

Crayfish moved while ancient abbey ruins are repaired

Repairs being carried out at the ancient ruins of Shap Abbey are almost finished - with a threatened species of crayfish being temporarily moved out, and then returned, while the work took place.

Shap Abbey with scaffolding

The medieval abbey was damaged during Storm Desmond, and English Heritage is spending almost £140,000 to preserve the structure.

Derrick Hodgson, from English Heritage, says the work has had to be planned with help from ecologists, because of the Abbey's position on the riverbank

We've got white-clawed crayfish within the river itself and ecologists have to work with out stonemasons to remove those crayfish to allow us to undertake the repairs to te end of the abbey itself.

Derrick HodgsonEnglish Heritage

Walney coastal path proposals made public

A route has been suggested today for a path running right around the 16 miles of coast of Walney Island, off Barrow.

It would form part of the England Coast path being developed by Natural England.


The path will begin and end at Jubilee Bridge and take in large areas of sand dunes, nature reserves and beach. The proposals, which are out for consultation for the next eight weeks, also allow the route to be moved if erosion changes the shoreline.

Video: Three rescue teams carry youngster from fell

Volunteers from the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team called on two of their neighbouring teams for help with a long stretcher carry from Striding Edge on Helvellyn last night.

Members of Penrith and Kirkby Stephen helped bring a local young man down the steep side of the ridge and across a river in darkness.

A member of the Patterdale team said the casualty had managed to hop along the ridge by the time the first team members arrived, making the rescue less complex.

Cumbria's weather: Heavy rain and strengthening winds

Some heavy spells of rain will spread in, with strengthening southerly winds. It will feel much cooler with temperatures reaching about 14C (57F).

Weather graphic

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

Hospital changes: The reasons why

The major set of proposals to change hospital services in North and West Cumbria published today is aimed at a number of specific problems.

  • Quality: The trust which runs hospitals in the area stretching from Appleby to Carlisle and across to Whitehaven has attracted criticism from inspectors for years, and was one of 11 placed into special measures by a team led by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, who identified a list of fundamental problems.
  • Recruitment: The hospitals have struggled to recruit staff, especially specialist consultants to work in West Cumbria. An inspection in 2015 found the equivalent of 55 full time jobs vacant at this level.
  • The ageing population: By 2020, a quarter of the population will be over 65, putting growing demands on health services. Planned developments in west Cumbria will also bring an influx of working-age people.
  • Finance: Health services in the area will have a combined overspend of £70m this year, today's report says, and if nothing's done this will rise to £168m. But the report concedes the changes it suggests will save only £2.1m a year, with efficiency savings meeting another £48m.

Whitehaven hospital could lose children's services too

The West Cumberland Infirmary could stop providing almost all in-patient care for children, under the preferred option put forward by the Success Regime.

Child having injection
Getty Images

The report says paediatricians prefer to work in large specialist units, and because the North Cumbria trust can't offer these opportunities, it struggles to recruit clinical staff.

More than 80% of children going to the hospitals stay less than a day; the report suggests the rest should almost all be treated in Carlisle.

It concedes this would have a travel impact for their families, but says it would ease the workforce pressures.

Report sees Carlisle as main hospital for north and west Cumbria

The Success Regime proposals published today are aimed at bringing inadequate services up to standard but within a budget that already falls far short of what is being spent.

The main preferred options of the Success regime management team are:

  • Replacing the consultant-led maternity units at the West Cumberland hospital at Whitehaven and Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary, with a midwife-led unit caring only for low-risk births at Whitehaven, with all other cases being treated at Carlisle.
  • The West Cumberland would lose its in-patient children's services, with a short-stay assessment unit and some overnight beds for low risk illnesses. In-patient cases would be cared for in Carlisle.

Cover of Success regime report

  • The network of nine community hospitals would stay, but in-patient beds would be removed from Alston, Maryport and Wigton.
  • All acute stroke services would be at the Cumberland Infirmary, with rehabilitation services there and at Whitehaven, rather than patients with suspected strokes being admitted to both hospitals.
  • Both hospitals would maintain accident and emergency departments, but the most serious and complex cases would be transferred to Carlisle.

The proposals are out for consultation for 12 weeks. You can see the report here.

BreakingCumbria hospitals report: One main maternity hospital is best option

Lee Macaulay

Journalist, BBC Cumbria

The managers sent in by the government to sort out long-running problems in hospitals serving West, North and East Cumbria say downgrading maternity care in Whitehaven is the best way forward.

It's one of a number of recommendations detailed in a public consultation document, published today by the Cumbria Success Regime.

Sign outside West Cumberland Hospital

The team's preferred option means the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven would be staffed by midwives and only handle the most simple births

More complicated procedures would be done at the Cumberland Infirmary - with a dedicated ambulance provided for the up to 80 women a year the report predicts will need an emergency transfer to Carlisle.

Labour conference: 'Don't forget shipyard workers'

The Labour conference has been warned not to forget Barrow ship workers as it considers the future of the Trident submarine programme.

Official party policy is still to renew the submarine programme, but the leader Jeremy Corbyn doesn't support that.

The Labour member of the Edinburgh Parliament Jackie Baillie, whose Dumbarton constituency includes the Faslane naval base, said scrapping Trident would affect her constituents, and workers on the Clyde, at Rosyth and at Barrow.

Jackie Baillie

We have a responsibility for all of these workers and their families."

Jackie BaillieLabour MSP for Dumbarton

Congratulations flow for top dog handler Tom

Tom Blease, 16, from Cumbria, is the younger half of the team that helped win the 40th One Man and his Dog contest on BBC One's Countryfile programme last night.

Dick Roper and Tom Bleasedale

Tom, (pictured right), helped senior handler Dick Roper from the Cotswolds bring the trophy back from Ireland, whose shepherds have won for the past three years.

View more on twitter

You can watch the One Man and His Dog competition on iPlayer here.

Workington confirms coach Veivers is going

Workington Town has confirmed that the club is parting company with the head coach, Phil Veivers (pictured).

Phil Veivers

Directors say the decision was down to a shortage of money following Town's relegation from the Championship.

Carlisle's pilot Kate is 'youngest airline captain'

The airline Easyjet says it has just promoted a woman from Carlisle to be the world's youngest airline captain.

Kate McWilliam

Kate McWilliam began flying in the Air Cadets when she was 13. Now she flies Airbus A319 and A32 planes to locations across the world, including Iceland, Israel and Morocco.

Kate says colleagues and passengers often ask how old she is.

She said: "When I tell them I'm 26, most people are pleasantly surprised and impressed with my achievement at such a young age."

Health shake-up plans published for north and west Cumbria

A set of proposals for reforming hospitals in north and west Cumbria will be published later today.

It's been put together by the Success regime, a management team brought in by NHS England to sort out the North Cumbria hospitals' trust long-running management and financial problems.

Neil MacKay

Sir Neil McKay (pictured), who's leading the team, says he wouldn't be part of changes that weren't safe for patients.

But people in west Cumbria are opposing one likely proposal, that maternity services in West Cumbria would deal with only straight-forward births, while mothers likely to need the help of a consultant were transferred more than 30 miles to Carlisle.,

Off-road biker rescued from Morecambe Bay mud

A motorcyclist who got stuck in quicksand near Silverdale was rescued by volunteers from Bay Search and Rescue.

Bay search and rescue Haglund on sands
Bay Search and Rescue

Team members were called to Jenny Browns Point yesterday afternoon, where they worked with the Coastguard to recover the bike.

Travel: Congestion slows Carlisle commuters

BBC Travel

There's heavier than usual traffic on the A69 westbound between Carlisle and the Warwick Road junction.

The latest travel reports are here.

Cumbria's weather: Rain spreading across the county

It's already a wet start in parts of South Cumbria and cloud will spread from the south west with some heavy rain later.  It'll be much cooler with temperatures of about 14C (57F).

Weather graphic

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

One held by police after York City fans attacked in Barrow

One man was arrested after rocks were thrown at a van carrying York City fans after the match at Barrow at the weekend.

View more on twitter

Two of the passengers were treated in hospital for head wounds.

Cumbria Police condemned what they said was a "cowardly" attack. 

These are the kind of perfect away fans, they travel to every game, rain or shine. This is the kind of welcome they'll remember from Barrow"

Daniel DonnorOwner of bus

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning: We'll be posting news, travel reports and a regular weather forecast for Cumbria through until 18:00.

As always, if you have 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