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  1. Thursday 26 January 2017

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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As it happened: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We have now finished our news, travel reports, weather forecasts and the odd lighter spark from Cumbria's social networks for today.  

We had a late-breaking story coming in about the closure of a government office in Barrow with more than 80 people facing an uncertain future -  you can find more here.

Otherwise, it was quite a busy day:

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow.  As always, you can contact us if you have a photograph you'd like to share with the county, or if you have news you think we should know.

You can email ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page

Have a good evening.

Cumbria's weather: Low cloud, fog and frost

BBC Weather

There will be low cloud in places, mist and fog will affect many parts, and it will feel cold with a widespread frost and brisk winds. 

Strong winds are likely along coasts and over hills. 

The lowest temperatures will be about -2C (28F).  

Weather graphic

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

M6 crash: Driver's injuries 'not thought to be life-threatening'

Police now say that the driver of the lorry which overturned off the M6 this afternoon is not thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries.

There is still slow traffic on the southbound carriageway between junctions 41 and 40 near Penrith.

The latest travel news is here.

Striking new restaurant at Michelin-starred Lakes hotel

The Samling is one of the Lake District's top hotels and restaurants, with a Michelin star and a striking view down Windermere.

Now it has been showing off its new extension to other business people from the tourism industry.

View more on twitter

BreakingDWP staff face uncertain future as Barrow office closes

A government office in Barrow is to close with the possible loss of more than 70 jobs.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman confirmed the offices in the Phoenix House block would be closing. 

She said some of the 83 people who work there would be able to transfer to another DWP office in the town, at Craven House, but those who could not, and were unable to move to offices elsewhere in the country, would lose their jobs.

A statement from the PCS union said the closure was one of a number across the country, including one in 10 Jobcentres.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We are opposed to these closures and will vigorously fight any attempt to force DWP workers out of their jobs.”

The Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said the news would be a terrible worry for the workforce and flew in the face of government promises to move jobs into the regions. He's meeting staff tomorrow evening.

Attack 'ringleader' jailed jailed after beating man in his home

A man described as the "ringleader" of an attack on a man in his home has been jailed for 18 months at Carlisle Crown Court.

David Nicholson, 42, from Victory Crescent in Maryport, launched a flurry of punches at Philip Barkhouse in the small hours of 19 December 2015.

His accomplice Philip Holding, 40, of Coronation Street Maryport, kicked Mr Barkhouse in the head.

They both pleaded guilty to assault, occasioning actual bodily harm at Carlisle Crown Court.

Holding was given a suspended 16-month sentence, and ordered to carry out unpaid work and pay Mr Barkhouse compensation.

Police commissioner says child protection report is 'balanced'

The man elected to oversee policing in Cumbria has welcomed what he called a "balanced" official report which says officers in the county need to improve the way they deal with vulnerable children

After HM Inspectorate of Constabulary inspected Cumbria police in July, it has recommended improvements in how child protection investigations are carried out. 

Peter McCall

The county's Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, says children are probably safer in Cumbria than many other places, but they still need protecting here.

He said: "I wouldn't want to sound complacent - children are vulnerable by the very fact that they are children, and we have to do everything we possibly can to protect them."  

Truck leaves motorway near Penrith

A heavy goods vehicle crashed off the southbound carriageway and turned over between the two Penrith junctions, 41 and 40, this afternoon.

M6 accident showing overturned truck and air ambulance
Cumbria Police

An air ambulance has been called but as yet there's no word on the condition of the driver.

MP urges 'rapid improvement' after inspectors criticise police

The Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock has reacted angrily to a report which criticises Cumbria Police for their handling of children at risk.

The report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary said cases were sometimes handed to officers who didn't have the necessary training and in some cases action was not taken quickly enough on allegations of sexual exploitation.

The force has already given additional training to 600 officers on how to spot signs of sexual abuse and what to do about it.

John Woodcock
Labour Party

Mr Woodcock said there were examples of good practice but also too many "chilling examples" of child sex victims not getting proper protection.

He said: "The multiple failures outlined by the HMIC are stark and point to horrible abuse going undetected and offenders going unpunished. Rapid improvement is essential to safeguard our community."   

Severe accident: M6 Cumbria southbound

BBC Travel

M6 Cumbria southbound severe accident, between J41 for B5305 and J40 for A66.

M6 Cumbria - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M6 southbound between J41, B5305 (Catterlen) and J40, A66 (Penrith), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Alston man admits downloading child pictures

A 42-year-old man has admitted downloading nearly 700 indecent pictures of children from the Internet.

David Novak, 42, from Jollybeard Gate, Alston, admitted four charges relating to the pictures, more than a third of which were in the most serious category, when he appeared at Carlisle Crown Court.

Judge Peter Hughes QC asked for probation service reports and said he would pass sentence on 22 February.

Copeland councillors come out against Moorside plyons

Councillors in West Cumbria have criticised a plan to use a line of pylons to link the new nuclear power station at Moorside to the national power network. 

National Grid

Copeland Council says it has "significant reservations" about the scheme from National Grid, which runs the power lines underground through the Lake District national park, but on pylons down the west coast, and across the Duddon estuary.

The council, which was responding to a consultation on the plans, says they do not consider the impact on health, or the landscape, and that the higher cost of burying the cables is not a good enough reason to avoid doing it.

Mountain rescue teams get cash help for water rescues

Five Cumbrian mountain rescue teams have been given government grants to help equip them for water rescues.

The teams are increasingly training for what are called fast water rescues, either for helping people in rivers or when they're called to flooding emergencies.

Mountain rescuers in Carlisle floods
Getty Images

Kendal and Keswick mountain rescue teams are getting the biggest awards, of just over £16,000 each. Patterdale's receiving £11,500, Kirkby Stephen will get £5,500, and Duddon and Furness £1,200.  

Pickets at Whitehaven Academy

A Cumbrian school is forced to cancel lessons as teachers stage two days of strike action.

Read more

Cumbria's weather: Sunny but very cold

BBC Weather

There's a very cold afternoon to come, though some sunny spells are likely, especially to the north of the Lake District mountains.  Temperatures will reach about 2C (36F).

Weather graphic

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

County's economic group says shake-up 'is last thing we need'

The organisation charged with bringing new jobs and businesses to Cumbria says now is not the time for a major shake-up.

The Local Economic Partnership, which brings together employers and local authorities, was responding to criticism after it asked the government for £165m in grants, but was given under £13m.

The vice chairman, Jackie Arnold, says although the LEP is asking for an independent assessment of its work, she does not want to see any major changes at the moment.

She said: "From my perspective the last thing I feel we need now is a major distraction."

Police step up child protection training after critical report

Cumbria Police were told to make immediate improvements to the way they deal with children at risk of sexual exploitation and other dangers, in a report from government inspectors.

A report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary listed a catalogue of poor practice by the force.

Det Ch Insp Andy Slattery (pictured) says 600 staff have been given more training in how to spot and deal with the signs of child sexual exploitation, and more is planned.

"During the first months of this year we're training as many staff again in domestic abuse and how to protect children in domestic abuse situations", he said.

"We are investing heavily in training our frontline staff so they have got a better understanding of how to protect children."

DCI Andy Slattery

The report also highlighted times when officers didn't check what other agencies were doing, and Mr Slattery said the force had "increased our resources that work within the multi-agency safeguarding hub."

Travel: Roadworks slow traffic on A590 and A66

BBC Travel

Two long-running sets of roadworks are causing congestion again today. Traffic on the A590 through Ulverston is very slow, and there's heavy traffic in both directions on the A66 between Brough and Sandford.

The latest travel news is here.

Mark Ellis

Carlisle United loan defender Mark Ellis to National League side Forest Green Rovers for the remainder of the season.

Read more

Teachers start two days of strikes at troubled Whitehaven school

Another day of industrial action is taking place today at the Whitehaven Academy. 

Members of the NASUWT union are taking action today for the second time, while members of ATL and NUT unions will walk out for the first time tomorrow.  

The teachers say they are not happy with the performance of the trust which runs the school, the Bright Tribe Trust. 

The trust has always insisted progress is being made as quickly as possible.

Workers strike at Sellafield plant

Some nuclear industry workers are on strike today as part of industrial action over terms and conditions of employment. 

Fellside CHP

It's the first of four 24-hour stoppages planned by members of the Unite trade union, who work for Cape Industrial Services at the Fellside CHP plant, at Sellafield. 

Meanwhile, the threat of wider strike action by nuclear workers over pensions has been put on hold to allow talks to take place. This follows a meeting between trade unions and ministers yesterday.

Police report: Sex abuse leads not followed up

Government inspectors who reported on the work of Cumbria's police in child protection highlighted a lack of training for front-line officers, which meant leads weren't followed up and children were left at risk.

Picture of child's feet

Inspectors did find evidence of good practice, where officers told of concerns about children were swiftly followed up, but they found longer-term measures didn't always follow:

  • A 19-year-old registered sex offender suspected of a relationship with a 14-year-old girl was arrested, "but inspectors found no evidence of a longer-term safeguarding plan to protect the girl from further exploitation."
  • A case where an eight-year-old girl alleged an assault by her mother's partner was given to a non-specialist officer: The partner was not arrested for three weeks, there was then no evidence of working with other agencies, and the suspect wasn't considered a risk to other children for six months although explicit images were found on his phone.

The inspectors also found problems with the way runaways were dealt with, the reference of cases to specialist teams, the recording of concerns about child welfare and other issues. 

Their report makes more than 20 recommendations.

MP calls for more support for Cumbria business

A Cumbrian MP says the county's economy is under performing because it is not getting enough support from the government. 

The county's Local Economic Partnership, which brings together business and local authorities, bid for £165m, but was given only a fraction of that amount.  

Just short of £13m will come to Cumbria, and that will be spent in the west of the county and Carlisle.   

John Woodcock

The Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, John Woodcock, says the imbalance must be addressed.

Conservatives pick Bootle campaigner for Copeland by-election

The Conservatives have picked Trudy Harrison to be their candidate for the Copeland by-election.

Trudy Harrison
Conservative Party

The 40-year-old is chairman of the governors at Captain Shaw's C of E Primary School. She has led campaigns to protect the school and also to back developments such as new homes on the Wellbeck MOD site.

She said: "Copeland has had Labour MPs and Labour councils for years. They've ignored us and failed to deliver the jobs, infrastructure and services we need, and now they want to ignore how we voted in the referendum."

The by-election follows the resignation of Labour MP Jamie Reed. The other candidates announced so far for the poll on 23 February are:

  • Green Party: Jack Lenox
  • Labour Party: Gill Troughton  
  • Liberal Democrats: Rebecca Hanson
  • UKIP Party: Fiona Mills

Inspectors: Cumbria police must improve child protection work

Cumbria Police must make immediate improvements to ensure that children in the county are protected - according to the watchdog.

Police logo
Cumbria Police

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary which looked at the force in July found some serious cases were given to non-specialist teams who lacked the necessary skills to deal with them. 

Det Ch Insp Andy Slattery says that the force has done a lot of work to address the inspectors' concerns since July.

There's a much better understanding of issues like child sexual exploitation which we are training out to our staff."

Det Ch Insp Andy Slattery

Cumbria's Weather: Suddenly it's cold and windy

BBC Weather

After a cold and quite frosty start with the risk of some ice, today is looking generally cloudy with mist and fog patches mainly on hills. 

The winds will be strong on coasts and over hills and there'll be a brief cold snap, with temperatures not rising much above 1C (34F).

Weather graphic

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

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning. We'll be posting the news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and a few other choice items from around the county throughout the day.

As always, you can contact us if you have a photograph you'd like to share with the county, or if you have news you think we should know.

You can email ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page.