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  1. Reed's resignation puts Cumbria in national spotlight
  2. Copeland staff strike over job cuts
  3. More homes and businesses promised broadband
  4. Thursday 22 December 2016

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Martin Lewes


    We've now finished posting news, travel reports, and the occasional extra such as videos of feeding time for Asian otters...

    We'll be back tomorrow, with the latest on Storm Barbara and the rest of the news from Cumbria in the run-up to Christmas, from 08:00.

    If you have a picture to share or some news you think we should know about, you can email ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page.  

    Have a very good evening.

  2. Cumbrian farm halts raw milk sales after illness link

    A well-known South Cumbrian farm shop's suspended sales of raw milk after six cases of campylobacter were linked to the business.

    Raw milk being dispensed

    The Food Standards Agency is leading the investigation, supported by South Lakeland council; officials say that inquiries are continuing, but they believe the milk is the most likely source of the cases reported.

    Low Sizergh Barn, which is run by the Park family,  is said to be helping with the inquiry.  

    The bacteria's the most common source of food poisoning in the UK and causes severe diarrhea and sometimes vomiting.  

    People who've bought milk from the farm recently are advised not to drink it.

  3. Christmas dinners in 100 different styles at one Cumbrian zoo

    John Bowness

    BBC Radio Cumbria reporter

    At the Lake District Wildlife Park north of Keswick, they'll be preparing Christmas dinner roughly 100 different ways, for about 100 different species.

    BBC Radio Cumbria's John Bowness filmed feeding time for Asian short clawed otters. 

    Would you like, for want of a better phrase, a taste? 

    It's our pleasure...

    Video content

    Video caption: A Cumbrian zoo is preparing to feed its worldwide collection a festive feed.
  4. Weather on the fells tomorrow: Wild

    • Temperatures at 3,000 feet: - 1C, rising to 3C for a time. 
    • Winds: Gale or severe gale south to southwesterly, gusts 70mph. 
    • Cloud: Extensive cloud around 2,000 feet (600m) with patches down to 1,500 feet (450m). 
    • Visibility: Moderate falling poor in rain and hill snow and very poor in extensive hill fog. 
    • Freezing level: 2,500 feet (750m), rising above the fells for a time.

    The Lake District rangers say winter equipment including ice axes, crampons and snow goggles will be essential, with some snow and ice on the highest summits; they say walkers should be prepared to turn back if in doubt of conditions in storm force winds.

  5. M6 driver with £55,000 of drugs jailed

    A Merseyside man who was pulled over by police on the M6 near Sedbergh and found to have drugs with a street value of nearly £55,000 has been jailed for 30 months.

    Anthony Robinson

    Anthony Robinson, 26, of Leithbridge Close, Liverpool, admitted two charges of possessing drugs with intent to supply at Preston Crown Court.

    Police had found cocaine valued at £45,000 and cannabis thought to be worth £10,000. 

    PC Matthew Simpson from the south area drugs team of Cumbria police said Robinson had been carrying the drugs from Liverpool to Scotland, and the jail sentence should act as a deterrent.

  6. Cumbria's weather: The calm before the storm

    BBC Weather

    It should become generally fine with clear spells. 

    Temperatures will fall to about 1C (34F) with a ground frost in sheltered spots. there'll be a freshening southwest wind. 

    Weather graphic

    A quick look ahead to Storm Barbara; the current forecast suggests the wind will rise rapidly from around 07:00 tomorrow and be at its strongest in the early afternoon gusting to over 40mph at all levels and quite widely to 60mph or 70mph. 

    There's a yellow weather warning through until midnight.  

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

  7. Woman makes 999 call to get moth removed from bedroom

    Police say their one of their operators took a 999 call from a woman who wanted help to get a large moth out of her bedroom.

    It was one of several inappropriate calls officers have made public to reduce the time wasted by call handlers.

    Others included:

    • A mother whose daughter was in detention at school
    • A man, who also rang the ambulance service, because he needed a lift home
    • A person who wanted to express concerns about parking in Kendal

    Police say the 999 service should only be used if there was a crime in progress, or if there was violence threatened or life at risk. 

    All other vital calls should go to 101.

  8. Order, order: Question from the Prime Minister...

    The Cumbrian broadcaster Eric Robson's been chairing a discussion about how best to improve roses in the gardens outside the office window of a certain Mrs May.

    View more on twitter
  9. Is there such a thing as a Cumbrian Christmas cracker joke?

    Martin Lewes


    We decided it was close enough to Christmas to walk out this offering from the community Twitterfeed #NotJustLakes.

    View more on twitter

    If you can do better, tweet it to @BBC_Cumbria and if there's enough, we'll post a collection tomorrow!  

  10. Hairdresser starts loan service for those who lose crowning glory

    A Whitehaven hairdresser's joined a network helping people who lose their hair for medical reasons, and started a wig bank for people who can't afford to buy a wig.

    Wigs on models

    Vanessa Cowan who owns the Glamorous Butterfly salon suffered alopecia at the age of 38, and trained at seminars run by a charity, mynewhair, which provides advice and support to people suffering medical hair loss.

    She says she started the bank in memory of her mother and two aunts who died of cancer.

  11. The calm before the storm by Grasmere

    Martin Lewes


    With Storm Barbara rolling across the Atlantic and threatening winds gusting to 70mph over Cumbria, the people who own Faeryland, a tea garden with boat hire, have made everything secure.

    View more on twitter

    There's already a second weather warning posted for Christmas Day; if that gets much stronger, it will be Storm Connor.

  12. Power line crews stand by for Storm Barbara

    Electricity North West says it's putting extra engineers and call centre staff on duty in preparation for Storm Barbara, which is due to blow through the area tomorrow.

    Electricity North West graphic

    A company spokeswoman said £40m had been spent strengthening overhead cables in Cumbria alone over the last year, and trees had been cut back or felled along 500 miles of line across the north west.

    This year there's a new number to ring if the lights go out, which is automatically put through to the regional power company: 105.  

    They can also be contacted at or Twitter @ElectricityNW.

  13. Ex-PC trains to help air ambulance that flew him to safety

    A former police motorcyclist is training for a half-marathon to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance which flew him to hospital after he was badly injured in a crash.

    Phil Murray in hospital

    Phil Murray pictured above in hospital, is taking part in the Great North Run, and is hoping others will join to support him.

    He says he had no doubt the paramedics on board had saved his life.

    Phil says he'd seen the difference the service made through his work, adding: “Over the years I saw how the survival rate of seriously injured people improved dramatically."

  14. Parking crackdown looms at Whitehaven hospital

    New parking patrols are being brought in at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven in the new year.

    The hospital's trust says it's a safety measure, citing problems such as emergency access being blocked.

    A company called UK Parking Control will patrol the car parks around the clock, with the power to impose a £40 charge for people parking out of the marked bays, or overstaying the 20-minute allowance for dropping a patient off.

  15. Copeland may be a long way from London, but attention's turning this way...

    Martin Lewes


    The by-election looming in Copeland now Labour MP Jamie Reed has announced he's stepping down is seen as significant across the political spectrum.

    The Guardian website is running an opinion piece describing it as 'a bare-knuckle fight'.


    Newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph assess Mr Reed's departure as potentially the first of a number as MPs unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership jump before party members or the electorate give a push.

    The Sun also hints at some length online that unhappiness with Mr Corbyn is behind Mr Reed's decision, though the newspaper itself has four paragraphs with little analysis.

    But with stories such as the Berlin terror attack dominating the headlines, a resignation by a backbench MP in a distant constituency gets barely a mention on the first few pages of most newspapers.

  16. Volunteers join council team to whip new life into Kendal park

    Volunteers, council staff and contractors have been planting baby beech trees, known as whips, in one of Kendal's parks.

    Volunteers at work.

    It's part of a £150,000 South Lakeland project to improve Noble's Rest, which is close to the town centre, and the Town View Fields nearby.

    Kendal Town Council's added £15,000 to help pay for the work, which was planned through a series of meetings with local residents.

  17. Traffic jam roadworks on hold over Christmas

    Roadworks in Ulverston that have caused long delays at times on the A590 are being suspended between Christmas and New Year.

    A county council spokesman said they would end at 17:00 today and resume on Tuesday 3 January.

    The latest BBC Travel news is here.

  18. Travel: Crash slows traffic on A66 near Brough

    BBC Travel

    There's very slow traffic on the A66 westbound between the B6259 junction in Sandford and the A685 junction in Brough because of an accident.  

    The latest travel reports are here.

  19. Union says job cuts will cause 'long term problems'

    The trade union Unison, whose members are striking at Copeland council this morning over 28 job losses, say cuts there will affect the way the council deals with the public.

    Jenny Martin, who's a regional official for the union, says the public will get a poorer service: "They might see delays in accessing the council, in getting their benefits processed, and delays in council tax exemption processing."