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  1. Updates on Thursday 19 January 2017

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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David Atkinson

Defender David Atkinson leaves League Two side Carlisle United by mutual consent and joins Blyth Spartans.

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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, travel reports and the odd snippet from social networks and the like, until tomorrow.

A quick reminder of some of the main points: 

We'll be back to do it again from 08:00 tomorrow.  Have a very good evening.

Cumbria's weather: Cloudy, murky and drizzly

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy and murky overnight, with the return of fog patches. Some drizzle will linger on higher ground. But the cloud cover will prevent it from getting too cold, with lows of 5C (41F). 

Weather graphic

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

Travel: Trains held up by locomotive breakdown

BBC Travel

Virgin West Coast and Transpennine Express train services are at a standstill between Oxenholme and Penrith because of a broken down train.

The latest travel news is here.

Grange people get chance to see pool options

Plans for the future use of a former south Cumbrian lido have gone on public display today.

Grange Lido

Grange's outdoor swimming pool dates back to the 1930s but hasn't been used for more than 20 years. 

Today the public were invited to give their views on the options for the listed site. The display at the Victoria Hall is open until 19:00. 

Possible uses include a cafe, education space or an area for recreational activities. Officials say bringing the pool back into use is not an option.

Weather on the fell tops: Cooler, but still no snow

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft:  2C. 
  • Winds: Mainly moderate southwesterly. 
  • Cloud: Generally large amounts of cloud around 1,500ft (450m), with patches at 1,000ft (300m) in any rain, locally broken at 2,000ft (600m) during the afternoon in the east. 
  • Visibility: Moderate or poor, very poor in hill fog. 
  • Freezing level: Just above the summits.

The Lake District rangers who report on the conditions above 3,000ft said the main problem today was navigation in the poor visibility.  

Overseas staff help fill the gaps in Cumbria's ambulance service

Paramedics recruited from Europe have helped Cumbria's ambulance service overcome a staffing problem, according to managers.

The North West Ambulance Service was classed as requiring improvement after the latest inspection last summer, with shortage of staff being one of the problems.

Ged Blezard, the operations director, said the service was now fully staffed in Cumbria.

He said: "We've also recruited some international paramedics from Poland and Finland, about 24 staff have been placed in north Cumbria, which has had a significant impact on that vacancy gap there."

Ambulance detail
Getty Images

Resurfacing will mean road is closed overnight

The A685 between Kendal and Grayrigg will be closed overnight next week for resurfacing.

The stretch being worked on is from the Morrisons junction to Paddy Lane.

Are you up for the FA People's Cup?


Ever dreamed of lifting a trophy on the pitch at Wembley? Well, here's your chance.

BBC Get Inspired has again teamed up with the Football Association to launch the 2017 FA People's Cup, a free five-a-side knockout competition that gives the people of England the chance to play in their version of the FA Cup.Watch as Radio 1Xtra DJ Nick Bright shows his (almost) silky ball skills, while explaining how you can get involved - and for all the information you need, read our Get Inspired guide.

FA People's Cup: keepy-uppy challenge with Radio 1Xtra's Nick Bright

How to enjoy an afternoon in two ways at once

Cricket and fell-walking?  If those are your choice, what a combination...

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One in four of county's schools 'fall below target'

Nine of Cumbria's 38 secondary schools are under-performing, according to a new government measure.


The county comes out 14th from the bottom of a table of more than 150 areas.

The new figures measure the performance of students across eight GCSE subjects, from when they start secondary school to when they leave. The previous tables were judged on the proportion of pupils achieving at least five good grades.

You can find the tables here.

The new statistics are seen as fairer because they compare the progress pupils make, rather than how well they do in exams.

Licensed trade, police and schools team up to reduce underage drinking

A new group to deal with what's called the "acute problem" of underage drinking in Barrow, starts operating today.

Beer can on pavement
Getty Images

Representatives from the police, councils, schools and shops are joining together to form a Community Alcohol Partnership, the first in Cumbria.

The first meeting today will start training retail staff how best to stop young people buying drink.

Insp Matt Pearman from Cumbria Police says there will also be school visits to persuade young people that there are other ways to spend their leisure time

He said: "For example, a lot of young people are very image-focussed and we can educate them about the damaging effect that alcohol can have on their bodies and the way their bodies look."

I do think we have an acute problem that is starting to get a lot worse."

Councillor Tony CallisterChairman, Barrow Licensing Committee

Man taken to hospital after house fire

A man was treated in hospital after a fire in Carlisle this morning. 

Firefighters were called to a house in Cranbourne Road at 08:00. It took just over an hour-and-a half to deal with the fire and clear the house of smoke.

Farron questions minister over 'back of the queue' hill farmers

The Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has urged ministers to make sure farmers who had to wait months for their government payments last year don't have to wait again this year.

The farmers involved use commonland for grazing, which means the basic payment calclulations are more complicated.

Tim Farron

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP told the Secretary of State for Defra, Andrea Leadsom, this morning, that nearly 50 farmers who'd had their payments delayed last year, had been told they'd have to wait again this year.

"Will she commit to make sure those farmers who were at the back of the queue last year, will be at the front of the queue this year?" asked Mr Farron.

Mrs Leadsom said many commonland farmers had been paid. She said: "In terms of this year many commons have been paid, and right across the board and in fact we're up at 92.8% t of payments so far which is a good achievement compared to last year."

Cumbria's weather: Grey again

BBC Weather

It will remain cloudy this afternoon, with a few breaks in the cloud across eastern parts. The winds will stay light and temperatures will get to about 8C (46F). 

Weather graphic

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

New website gives advice for crime victims

Victims of crime in Cumbria are being given extra support and advice through leaflets and a new website. 

Cumbria Police says it's giving people access to information on how cases are dealt with and how they can help officers with their investigation. 

The force says it has brought agencies together including Witness Care Unit and Victim Support to create the leaflet and the webpage.

Watch: A flock of starlings dances across the sky

Through the winter starlings preparing to roost will often perform a murmuration, flying and swooping back and forth as a single flock across the sky.

Friends of the Lake District captured this film of a huge flock at their reserve at Little Asby, near Kirkby Stephen.

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Ministers on flood grant: 'There's no EU magic money tree'

Ministers have defended their support for flood-hit communities after it emerged that more than £50m in a European grant had either been soaked up by administrative costs, or sent back to Brussels to pay a fine incurred by Labour ministers after they spent a previous grant on inelegible purposes.

The Cumbrian MP and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the Conservative government was being "mean-spirited" by not passing the money on to areas like Cumbria.

The local government minister Andrew Percy said: "“Conservatives in Government have delivered £300m to help flood-hit communities. It’s disappointing that the legacy of mismanagement by the Labour Government means there is no extra money. 

“But Liberal Democrats are misleading the public by suggesting there’s some EU magic money tree. UK taxpayers’ give out far more than we ever get back from Brussels."

We've asked the Labour party for a response, but there's been no answer so far.

Majority of EU flooding cash eaten up by deductions and fine

It's emerged that millions of Euros allocated to help flood-hit regions of Britain by the European Union will almost all be soaked up by various costs and deductions.

A statement by the local government minister Andrew Percy (pictured) said the EU had allocated 60m Euros (£51.9m) in "solidarity funding".

But because of the way the UK's rebate works, and the costs of drawing up the application for the money so it complied "with the complex rules of the Fund", only 17m Euros, or about £15m was paid.

Andrew Percy

Of that, the minister said, £14.5m was given back to Brussels, because the UK had been fined for ineligible spending with a previous grant in 2007 by the then Labour government, so only about £500,000 was left.

The minister said: "Consequently, this funding does not offer additional support, but is only eligible to reimburse a small portion of the extensive financial support that has already been given‎ by the Government to the areas affected." 

United's youngsters knocked out by Foxes

BBC Cumbria

Carlisle United's youngsters went down to a narrow 2-1 defeat to Leicester City in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round last night. 

United had gone 2-0 down within the first 25 minutes before Cameron Salkeld pulled back a goal just before the break.

Midfielder Jack Egan then hit the crossbar in the final minute.

View from stands of game

Travel: Accident slows Kendal traffic

BBC Travel

There's been an accident on Blackhall Road in Kendal, between Stramongate and Sandes Avenue, which is a key part of the one-way system.

You can find the latest travel news here.

Weather on the fell tops: Cloud's down again

Temperatures at 3,000ft: 3C.

Winds: Moderate or fresh west to southwesterly. 

Cloud: Widespread 1,000ft (300m) in any rain, lifting to 1,500ft (450m), locally broken at 2,000ft (600m) during the afternoon in the east. 

Visibility: Moderate or good, falling poor in rain or drizzle and very poor in hill fog. 

Freezing level: Above the summits.

The report on conditions up there from Lake District rangers says map, compass and good navigational skills are essential.

Large shipyard load will cause Barrow Island delays

BAE Systems, which runs the Barrow shipyard, says it will be transporting a heavy load along streets on Barrow Island this afternoon. 

Drivers are being warned of delays of up to 20 minutes on Bridge Road while it moves from the Devonshire Dock Hall to the Top Yard from 14:30.

Cumbria's weather: Another cloudy start to the day with some light rain or drizzle

BBC Weather

It's another cloudy start to the day across the region, with a few mist and fog patches, some of these dense on high ground. There could be some light rain or drizzle.

It'll remain cloudy this afternoon, with light winds, and temperatures getting to about 8C (46F).

Weather graphic

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

Inspectors' report on ambulance service: Must do better

The ambulance service which covers Cumbria has been told by the health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, that it 'requires improvement'. 


Following an inspection in May, the North West Ambulance Service was given the lowest grade but one.

There were particular concerns about staffing levels, and how paramedics care for people with mental health problems, who refuse to go to hospital. 

The trust says it has made improvements since the report; vacant posts have now been filled, and extra training has been given to staff. Inspectors agree improvements have been made.

They had at the time of inspection recruited 35 European paramedics, and they had plans to recruit a further 36 with 24 of those going into the Cumbria area."

Nicola KempLead inspector, Care Quality Commission

Good morning and welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll be posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and the odd other thing that catches our eye, through to 18:00.

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.