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  1. Friday 20 January 2017

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and the occasional snippet from social networks around the county.

A reminder of some of today's stories:

Oh yes, and across the Atlantic, the USA swore in a new president.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday.  Have a good weekend.

Cumbria's weather: The cloud finally breaks

BBC Weather

The cloud will clear towards the north, leaving most places with clear skies. 

This will cause temperatures to drop quickly, leaving a cold and frosty night with minimum temperatures -1C (30F).

Weather graphic

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

Investigation starts into why the Eden has turned bright green

Environment Agency staff are investigating what has been put into the River Eden headwaters in Mallerstang, near Kirkby Stephen, to turn the water fluorescent green.

Green river
Environment Agency

A spokeswoman said the dye was not thought to be toxic, but agency staff were checking what substance might be involved.

Distington doctors judged as outstanding by regulators

The Distington GP practice has been judged outstanding by the health regulators, the CQC.

Distington GP's surgery

It was described as one of the most caring practices the inspectors had ever seen.

Cumbria now has 11 practices that have been judged outstanding, the highest available grading, which means the county has a higher proportion at that level than the English average.

Further report of medical supply tampering at hospital

Cumbria Police says it received another report of fluid bags that appeared to have been tampered with at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. 

Detectives say this incident happened on Wednesday night, and it's not being treated as malicious at this stage. But an earlier investigation by the police into saline bags being tampered with at the hospital, is still ongoing.

A spokesman for the hospitals trust said they were pleased the clinical staff who'd raised concerns were continuing to be vigilant.

Scissors robbery man jailed

A violent criminal who threatened a 16-year-old boy with scissors and rocks before forcing him to withdraw money from a cash machine has been jailed by a Carlisle Crown Court judge.

James Daniel Walker
Cumbria Police

James Daniel Walker, 24, of Oxenholme Road in Kendal, admitted robbery, attempted robbery, common assault, possession of offensive weapons and illegal drugs, and two counts of wounding when he used a hammer to attack two Lancaster football fans after a match in Kendal.

Walker was said to be remorseful, but Judge Peter Davies jailed him for four years and eight months.

Judge Davies said Walker was guilty of "repeated and continued acts of violence".

Fire union claims city left without enough fire fighters

The Fire Brigades Union says that on Christmas no more than five full-time firefighters were on duty in Carlisle, not enough to be safe.

Fire service managers dispute the figures. They say that although only one fire engine was available, other retained stations could have been called out if required.

Steve Healey

Steve Healey, the deputy chief fire officer, (pictured) said it had proved impossible to get a second fire engine crewed by offering overtime.  

Normally he said, six full time appliances were available across the county, together with a large number of retained crews.

Hospitals trust 'catching up on nurse shortage' at Whitehaven

The trust which runs the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven says it has recruited more nurses and is still working to improve staffing levels.

west Cumberland Hospital

Anna Stabler, the deputy director of nursing and midwifery, was talking after a national report highlighted the Cumbrian hospital as having had only 90% of its target level of nurses on the wards for two years.

Ms Stabler said the trust was consistently above its target rate of having 80% of its staffing level of nurses, and directors were given regular reports identifying any wards falling below the "fill rate" for qualified nurses.

She said: "Although staffing levels have improved, we will continue to work to make further improvements.”

Meanwhile in CID...?

Martin Lewes


Cumbria's police feeds on social networks are worth following for an insight into the daily life of the county's bobbies - the busy nights, quiet country patrols, missing people, arrests, unwise drivers and so on.

And then there are posts like this...

View more on twitter

New care home opens in Barrow

A new £7.5m care home opens in Barrow today, and its hoped it'll help meet a growing local need.


Park View in Barrow was originally expected to open in 2013 but work stalled when its main contractor went into administration. 

But now it is ready, with 60 beds, and facilities designed to help people who have dementia.

Today, residents will have a chance to look round before moving in on Monday.

View more on twitter

Carlisle protesters unfurl bridge banner

A small group of protestors showed a banner above Castle Way in Carlisle today, in protest against the inauguration of President Trump in Washington DC.

Protesters on bridge

The New York billionaire is due to take his oath as the 45th President of the USA at just before 17:00 UK time today.

UKIP picks county chairman as Copeland candidate

The UK Independence Party has announced that Fiona Mills, who works for the NHS in Cumbria, will be their candidate in the Copeland by-election.

Fiona Mills

Miss Mills stood for her party in Carlisle at the general election, and she's the Cumbria chairman of UKIP.

The by-election, triggered by the resignation of Labour MP Jamie Reed, will be held on 23 February.

Barrow's Abbey Road stays shut into next week.

Barrow's Abbey Road will remain closed past the fire-damaged House of Lords at least until the middle of next week. 

A structural survey of the gutted former club is now booked to take place on Tuesday morning. The outcome of which will decide whether it is safe to reopen the road either fully or partially.

Stoke on Trent

By-elections to replace Labour MPs Tristram Hunt and Jamie Reed are to be held on 23 February.

Read more

PC who admitted sex charges remains suspended

A Cumbria police officer who has admitted three charges of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity remains suspended from duty, the force confirmed today.

PC Nick Pool, 29, admitted the three offences, relating to dates in Novermber and December last year, at Carlisle Crown Court this morning.

An earlier hearing, before a district judge, was told Pool committed the offences online with an officer posing as a 12-year-old girl.   

The offences are said to have occurred while the officer was off duty.

He's been remanded in custody until 8 March.

Cumbria's weather: It can't go on cloudy much longer

BBC Weather

It'll be another cloudy afternoon, possibly with some brighter spells in the south of the county. Highs of 7C (45F).

Weather graphic

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

Copeland's MP makes resignation official

The Labour MP for Copeland, Jamie Reed, says he's brought forward his formal resignation from the House of Commons to ensure the by-election can be held at the same time as the Stoke by-election following fellow MP Tristram Hunt's departure.

View more on twitter

Couple who lost baby aim to help other bereaved parents

Sian Hall

BBC Radio Cumbria

A couple  from Cockermouth who lost their own baby have set up a group to help others.

Greg and Jill Johnston with baby Imani

Greg and Jill Johnston from Cockermouth, seen here with baby Imani, lost their daughter Evie when she was just six months old. 

Helen Westwood, a health visitor, has been helping the Johnstons set the group up, and says she knew of the need for such help from her own practice.

She said: "All of the recommendations say that care has to be parent led because I as a health professional don't know what these parents need but these parents can tell us what they need."

Team Evie will be launched with an open day at the Victoria Hall in Cockermouth tomorrow from 11:00 to 15:00.

One of the most important things is that your child is not forgotten. Grief shouldn't be swept away."

Jill Johnston

Police officer admits sex charges after being caught by colleague posing as young girl

A police officer has admitted three offences of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity after communicating online with another officer posing as a 12-year-old girl.

Nick Pool, who's 29 and a PC in South Cumbria, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court this morning and admitted the offences on three occasions last year.

The hearing lasted only five minutes and he spoke only to confirm his name, and plead guilty.

He's been remanded in custody until 8 March.

Carlisle properties back on power

All the properties in Carlisle affected by this morning's major blackout in the city centre now have their power back, according to Electricity North West.

View more on twitter

BBC Phil fills the Sands with the sound of music

The BBC's top northern classical orchestra, the Philharmonic, has got a date at the Sands in Carlisle this evening.

BBC Philharmonic members

They're promising an English first half, with music by Elgar and Walton, and a Mediterranean second, with Ravel and Bizet under the baton of Andrew Davis.

Union leader McCluskey visits Barrow shipyard

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

One of the country's most prominent union leaders will pledge his support to workers at Barrow's shipyard today and call for more of Britain's defence budget to be spent within the UK.

Len McCluskey (pictured) is campaigning to be re-elected as general secretary of the Unite union.  

Len McCluskey

He says he is "always staggered" at the sheer scale and manufacturing capabilities of the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow. 

Power cut blacks out central Carlisle

More than 500 properties have lost electricity in the centre of Carlisle.

Electricity North West says it's a fault on the high voltage network and engineers are on the way.

View more on twitter

Teenagers charged after attack on football minibus

Two teenagers have been charged with assault after a bus carrying visiting fans to a match at Barrow was attacked.

Bus with broken windows
North Yorkshire Police

The two boys, one 15 and the other 16, are due before the South Cumbria Youth Court on 3 February .

The 15-year-old has also been charged with criminal damage after the attack on the bus at a match between Barrow and York City on 24 September.

Weather on the fell-tops: the cloud's still down

  • 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.

You can find the report from the Lake District rangers on conditions up there, here.

Labour picks Gillian Troughton to try to hold Copeland

Labour has selected local councillor Gillian Troughton as its candidate in the Copeland by-election. 

The 51-year-old former hospital doctor says it's an honour to be chosen, emphasising her pro-nuclear stance and says she has campaigned to protect local NHS services. 

The by-election was sparked by the resignation of the Labour MP Jamie Reed last year.

Gillian Troughton
Labour Party

Cumbria's weather: Mostly dry and cloudy, but a chance of sunshine later

BBC Weather

Most places will have a dry but rather cloudy day, and it will feel chilly. In southern parts of the county, the cloud will begin to clear with sunny spells breaking through. 

Temperatures will be up to about 7C (45F).

Weather graphic

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

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning: 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.