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  1. Updates on Thursday 5 January 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


We've now finished this service of Cumbrian news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and the odd glance at the social networks until 08:00 tomorrow.

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 good evening.

Viking treasure heads for Whitehaven museum

A hoard of Viking silver treasure found by two metal detector enthusiasts in a field in Beckermet will be on show at the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven next month.

Strange silver objects
Beacon Museum

Justin Bell, one of the duo, said it was "the find of a lifetime". 

They found 16 ingots that would have been used rather like coinage for trade, and four rings.

Elizabeth Kwasnick, the director of the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven, said: "We are giving our community a focal point to understand a bit more about those Scandinavian people who settled in this area and became part of our ancestry.”

The hoard will go on show on 25 February.

Sellafield pensions row: We've no choice, say bosses

Managers at Sellafield say workers in the nuclear industry have to follow the rest of the public sector into new pension arrangements because it's government policy.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority was responding to trade unions, which are meeting on Monday to discuss whether to strike to protect their current arrangements.

A spokesman for the NDA said unions would be consulted over the coming weeks, adding: "Four million public sector workers have already moved to new pension arrangements. 

"Specific decisions on how to change the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s estate pension schemes have yet to be taken," he said.

Talkin Tarn flats plan for hotel is knocked back

A planning inspector's backed Carlisle City Council in refusing a scheme to turn a former hotel at the beauty spot of Talkin Tarn into flats.

The inspector, Elaine Gray, says not enough of the original building would be retained, and the eighteen flats would be isolated from other communities.

Cumbria's weather: Chilly at first, becoming cloudy

BBC Weather

Chilly at first this evening under clear skies, but cloud will increase gradually, bringing a few spots of rain.

It'll turn less cold, although a frost is possible at first in places such as Penrith. 

Lowest temperatures will be about -1C (30F).

Weather graphic
View more on twitter

Jury clears Egremont man of party rape charge

An Egremont man has been cleared of raping a woman while she slept at a New Year's Eve party just over a year ago.

Grant Nolan, 27, of Sherwens Terrace, had told the jury the "brief" encounter was consensual and the woman was awake throughout.

The jury at Carlisle Crown Court took three-and-a-quarter hours to reach a verdict of not guilty this afternoon.

Weather on the fell tops: Windy and milder

  • Temperatures at 3000 feet: 1C, rising to 3C. 
  • Winds: Gale or severe gale force west or southwesterly, gusts 60mph, decreasing later. 
  • Cloud: Widespread cloud 2000 feet (600m), with patches around 1000 feet (300m). 
  • Visibility: Good. 
  • Freezing level: Above the tops.

You can find the Lake District rangers' report from the top of Helvellyn here.

Enterprise partnership urges firms: Apply for EU cash while it's still there

Cumbria's Local Enterprise Partnership says nearly £7m is available in European funds for businesses in the county, and firms should make sure it's claimed before Britain leaves the EU.

Flooded businesses

It's part of a European Regional Development Fund allocation, and includes £4m to support flood resilience in and around Kendal.

Graham Haywood, director of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, says: "We still expect the European Structural Investment Funds programme to be delivered at least through until the end of 2020. 

 "Spending the remainder of our EU funding resources effectively is critical, so it's important that business networks and SMEs are aware of these opportunities."

University starts online study of Desmond's long-term consequences

Psychologists from the University of Cumbria are trying to find out the long-term effects on mental health of the Storm Desmond floods.

Dr Mark Hoelterhoff, senior lecturer in applied psychology, said: “Of course it’s important after an event like that to say things like it’s time to move on and pull things together.

Flood debris
Getty Images

"It’s also important to consider that sometimes it’s not so easy to move on and there are people who are still struggling and still trying to cope.”

The research team says it'll be looking at the effect on mental health, businesses and how communities worked together.

Sellafield unions mull strike in pensions row

Trade unions representing many of the workers at Sellafield are meeting on Monday to discuss striking in a row over pensions.


The unions say workers face cuts in their pension schemes because the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority wants to save £660m.

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer, said there was no justification for changes to the scheme.

"These pension funds are in a sound state and underwent considerable reform 10 years ago," he said.

How that discarded Christmas tree can help a hospice

People in Cumbria are being encouraged to donate their Christmas tree to help raise money for a South Cumbrian charity. 

Discarded Christmas tree
Getty Images

St Mary's Hospice in Ulverston is running its annual tree recycling scheme. 

Last year it saw more than 250 trees donated. 

The charity has volunteers to collect the trees so they can be turned into garden mulch at the Crooklands Garden centre, 

Barrow pack them in for FA Cup tie

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

Barrow AFC are expecting their biggest crowd in decades on Saturday. 

Tickets for the FA Cup Third Round tie against Rochdale have now sold out, meaning a 4,400 capacity attendance, the biggest gate since 1990.

The squad's been training at a school in Greater Manchester.

And BBC Radio Cumbria will be reporting on the tie with full commentary from 14:00.

Cumberland Infirmary entrance

An outbreak of norovirus at a Cumbrian hospital sees health chiefs issue a plea for unwell visitors to stay away.

Read more

Health in focus as Copeland by-election battle lines drawn

Labour is highlighting concerns about health care in west Cumbria as campaigning gets under way in the run up to the by-election that will follow following the resignation of the Labour MP for Copeland, Jamie Reed. 

West Cumberland Hospital sign

Yesterday the shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth visited the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and spoke out against any plans to downgrade services there.  

The future of this hospital isn't just a local issue, it's a national issue."

Jonathan Ashworth MPShadow health secretary

Conservatives say they're committed to health services in West Cumbria at a difficult time.  

This government has funded more than has previously been funded in the National Health Service."

David MooreLeader of Conservative Group, Copeland Council

UKIP came third in Copeland in the general election and the party chairman there, Paul Oakden, says the party will aim to build on its success in the referendum. 

About 60% of voters in the constituency backed leaving the EU.

Salmon breed just months after beck is made fish-friendly

Signs have been spotted of salmon laying their eggs in a stretch of a river near Haweswater that was made more windy to improve the habitat last year.

Swindale Beck
United Utilities

Swindale Beck was straightened out to help drainage about 200 years ago, but last summer the RSPB, government agencies and United Utilities restored the watercourse's natural curves to slow the flow and allow gravel beds, or redds, to developed.

Today the RSPB said disturbed areas where salmon had laid their eggs on the redds had been seen, along with 16 of the fish.

Becky Powell from Natural England said: "You know you have created a better habitat when you see nature respond so quickly."    

Cumbria's weather: Staying sunny and cold

BBC Weather

It should be a dry and sunny afternoon, but staying cold, and the sunshine gradually turning hazy from the north-west.  temperatures will be about 3C (37F). 

Weather graphic

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

View more on twitter

Police: Fewer violent crimes over festive holiday

Martin Lewes


Cumbria police says the season of peace and goodwill saw fewer reports of violent crime in the county this year.

Police logo

Between 14 December and 3 January, 421 violent offences were recorded, compared with 534 for the same period last year.

Temporary Chief Supt Mark Pannone said: “One assault is one too many. These actions ruin lives, for both the person committing the assault and the person assaulted."

Frosty warning from traffic police

This morning's icy roads caused problems on the county's higher routes, including the Hardknott and Winlatter passes, with police warning drivers to be cautious.

There was also advice on clearing windscreens; traffic officers call drivers who only clear a small area of the windscreen "tank commanders".

View more on twitter

Sick visitors asked to stay away from wards

There's been an outbreak of the sickness bug norovirus at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle which was probably brought in by a visitor, managers say. 

They've asked anyone suffering from the symptoms, which include diarrhoea and or vomiting, to stay away.

The bug is dangerous for people who already have other health problems and is highly contagious.

Black Path, Workington

Four teenage boys are arrested after a 15-year-old girl is raped near a car park in Cumbria.

Read more

Fire crews free driver in M6 junction crash

The Sedbergh retained fire crew had to cut free the driver of one of the cars involved in a crash at junction 37 on the M6 this morning.

Crash scene showing car cut into bits
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

He was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Two people who were in the second vehicle, a Seat, were slightly injured.

Smoking linked to 3,000 Cumbrian deaths

Smoking has been linked to the deaths of an estimated 3,000 people in Cumbria in two years. 

Hand holding cigarette
Getty Images

The figure's emerged as health officials start their annual campaign to encourage people to give up.  

If you keep on trying, eventually you can succeed and it's still the most positive thing you can do for your health."

Colin CoxDirector of Public Health, Cumbria County Council

Weather on the Fell tops: Sunny, getting milder

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft: - 3C, rising to 1C by the end of the day. 
  • Winds: Light, mainly southwesterly. 
  • Cloud: Increasing cloud in the west later, mostly above the summits. 
  • Visibility: Good. 
  • Freezing level: Low levels at first, rising to 1,600ft (500m) by lunchtime and just above the tops by the end of the day.

The Lake District rangers who report on fell-top conditions found "a glorious spring-like day". You can see their full report here.

One person seriously hurt in M6 junction crash

One person was seriously hurt in an accident at junction 37, the Sedbergh turn-off, on the M6 this morning.

The crash, which involved two cars, caused serious delays on both the A684 and both northbound slip-roads between 07:00 and 09:00.

BreakingFour held after girl, 15, is raped in Workington

Four teenage boys have been arrested after a 15-year-old girl was raped in Workington.

Three 13-year-olds and another who's 14 were held overnight.

The attack happened just after 19:00 on Tuesday evening in the Cloffocks area.

Travel: A684 closed after M6 junction crash

BBC Travel

Police now say the A684 between Kendal and Sedbergh has been closed at the M6 junction 37 while they deal with a two-vehicle accident there.  

This is also affecting both entry and exit sliproads on the northbound side.

You can find the latest travel news here.

Cumbria's weather: Crisp, sunny and cold

BBC Weather

It will be a cold, crisp and sunny morning for many, leading to a dry and sunny day for all, but staying cold. 

Temperatures rising only to about 3C (37F). 

Weather graphic

Check the forecast where you are.

Travel: Second crash on M6 at junction 37

BBC Travel

There's now been a second accident at junction 37 on the M6; both northbound sliproads are at least partially blocked, although traffic is said to be joining the motorway using the hard shoulder.

You can find the latest travel news here.

Travel: Accidents on M6 and Hardknott Pass

BBC Travel

There've been accidents on the M6 at at the Sedbergh turn, junction 37,  and on the Hardknott Pass between Little Langdale and Eskdale.  

The latter's being blamed on ice, which will probably affect other high and little-used routes as well.

The accident at junction 37 on the M6 has closed the northbound sliproad. 

Also: A reminder that the A592 is closed for roadworks between Newby Bridge and Bowness, specifically between Birks Road and Ghyll Head Road. 

Locals will know of local routes around this for light traffic, but HGVs will have to go via the A590 and the A590, which can be quite a lengthy diversion for some.

You can find the latest travel reports here.

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning: We'll be posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and some nice extra touches though until about 18:00.

You can play a part too: 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.